The JioPhone Next, a smartphone being jointly developed by Google and Indian tech giant Jio Platforms, has missed its planned September 10th launch date, the companies have announced. The delay is needed to give both companies more time to refine the device, and to navigate problems created by the global semiconductor shortage. The JioPhone Next is now scheduled for wide release around Diwali, which will take place in early November. The phone is currently in testing with a small number of users.
The phone is designed to be an affordable 4G smartphone to help the roughly 300 million Indian users currently on 2G networks upgrade to 4G. When it announced the phone in June, Jio’s parent company Reliance said it would include voice assistant, augmented reality, and translation features. All this is build into an “optimized operating system based on Android,” which appears to bear some relation to Android Go, if XDA Developers is to be believed.
Work on the phone was first announced in 2020, when Google announced a $4.5 million investment in Jio. As part of the collaboration, Reliance announced earlier this year that it’s shifting its retail business onto Google’s cloud infrastructure.