The much-awaited affordable smartphone 'JioPhone Next' is in advanced trials and its festive season roll-out will commence before Diwali, according to a statement by Jio.
Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani had earlier this year said that JioPhone Next, being jointly developed by Jio and Google, would be available from September 10.
In a statement on Thursday, Jio has now said, "Both companies have begun testing JioPhone Next with a limited set of users for further refinement and are actively working to make it available more widely in time for the Diwali festive season."
This additional time will also help "mitigate the current industry-wide, global semiconductor shortages", the statement further said.
Jio and Google said they have made "considerable progress" towards launching the much-awaited JioPhone Next, the made-for-India smartphone being jointly designed by the companies.
"JioPhone Next is a first-of-its-kind device featuring an optimised operating system based on Android and Play Store," it added.
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The device and the operating system would offer "premium capabilities" that have until now been associated with more powerful smartphones, including voice-first features that enable people to consume content and navigate the phone in their own language, deliver a great camera experience and get the latest Android feature and security updates.
"JioPhone Next is built with exciting features like the Google Assistant, automatic read-aloud and language translation for any on-screen text, a smart camera with India-centric filters and much more," it said.
The companies remain committed to their vision of opening up new possibilities for millions of Indians, especially those who will experience the internet for the very first time. JioPhone Next is widely expected to be among the most-affordable smartphones, although its pricing has not been disclosed yet.