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Global Chip Shortage Forces Google and Jio to Delay their India Smartphone Launch

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Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries postponed the launch of a low-cost smartphone it is developing with Google to November due to an industry-wide semiconductor shortage.

Source: Reuters

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The “ultra-affordable” smartphone, designed and manufactured jointly by Reliance’s telecom division and Google, was scheduled to be rolled out from September 10.

Companies are struggling with a huge semiconductor shortage as the COVID-19 pandemic-led shift to remote working increased demand for the critical component used in manufacturing phones and laptops.

The companies have started testing the JioPhone Next with a small number of users for further improvement and are actively working to make it more widely available over the Diwali festive season.

The yearly festive season in India usually lasts 30 days from October to Nov. 4 this year. Indians make huge purchases ranging from jewelry to mobile devices and cars around this period.

Jio stated that the additional time will allow the companies to deal with the current industry-wide global semiconductor shortages. Reliance Jio disrupted the Indian telecom market in 2016 after launching cut-price data plans and fee voice services, pushing rivals out of the market.

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