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Reliance Retail Ltd will tap the network of its online business JioMart Digital to drive sales of JioPhone Next, the 4G smartphone jointly made by Google and Reliance Jio.

The phone, which was to be launched on 10 September, has been delayed due to the global semiconductor shortage. The phone is expected to be launched ahead of Diwali, which falls on 4 November.

“JioMart Digital is an assistant sale platform which we are extending through the new commerce model to a lot of small digital retailers across India, lakhs of them who we want to bring on our distribution network," Dinesh Thapar, group chief financial officer, Reliance Retail said in an interview. “And through them, we will also make sure that JioPhone Next has the widest possible availability and reach, especially where the physical proximity and physical support makes a difference," Thapar said.

Reliance Retail is reaching out to hundreds of thousands of neighbourhood stores that sell mobile phones and local electronics, offering them an option to convert their stores to JioMart Digital.

These stores will also do catalogue sales for consumers who do not have access to the JioMart’s digital services or to Reliance Digital services.

Reliance Retail will also provide after-sales services and EMI and finance options for JioPhone Next.

During the second quarter of this fiscal, Reliance Retail witnessed double-digit growth across all key categories of consumer electronics, including phones, TVs and home appliances. extended its reach to over 2,000 cities, with 90% deliveries taking place from its stores in less than six hours, the company said in its second quarter earnings presentation to analysts.

JioPhone Next is a novel device featuring an optimized Android-based operating system. The device and the operating system will 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, and latest Android features.

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