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Jio and Google forced to delay roll out of new smartphone due to chip shortage

Google and Jio delay India smartphone launch due to chip shortage

India’s leading telecom company Reliance Industries has been forced to postpone the launch of a new low-cost smartphone that it is developing with Google by two months due to a massive semiconductor (chip) shortage in the market.  

The  cheap smartphone, developed jointly by Reliance's telecom arm and Google, was set to be rolled out from Sept. 10 but will now be launched in November.

There is a massive semiconductor shortage worldwide as supply chains have been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic while demand for laptops and smartphones has shot up since most people have to work from home die to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The auto companies have also been hit hard due to the chip shortage and leading companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra have been forced curtail production.

"Both the 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," Jio said in an exchange filing late on Thursday.

The additional time will also help mitigate the current industry-wide global semiconductor shortages, Jio added.

In June, when the phone was announced, Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani did not mention its price but said it would be the most affordable smartphone in India.