On the heels of 5G coming to India and Reliance Jio numbering among those to roll out the next-generation mobile network in the near future, the 4G network provider has another ace up its sleeve. According to a Reuters report, it has teamed up with Big Tech companies Qualcomm and Microsoft to launch a laptop that will cease to burn a big hole in your pocket.
According to the report, the low-cost laptop – called the JioBook – will come with an embedded 4G sim card and will be priced in the range of $184 (₹15,000). While the San Diego-headquartered Qualcomm will provide and power the computing chips – which shall be based on technology from Arm Ltd – while the Redmond-headquartered Microsoft will be in charge of providing support for some apps for the JioBook. The laptop will run Jio’s very own JioOS operating system, and users can download apps from the JioStore, its answer to Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
It seems that Jio is looking to emulate the popularity and success of the JioPhone, the affordable smartphone that was developed and rolled out by the company earlier in the Indian market. In fact, one of the sources with direct knowledge of the matter told as much to Reuters. Counterpoint revealed that the device accounted for one-fifth of the Indian market over the past three quarters and topped the list of smartphones that were available under the $100 mark in India.
It remains to be seen whether the JioBook, which will be the culmination of the efforts of Reliance Jio, Flex (a local manufacturer who is in charge of producing the laptop), Microsoft, and Qualcomm, can achieve a similar amount of success in the Indian market. Jio has already set ambitious sales targets for the device, and aims to sell “hundreds of thousands” of units by March.
From this month, and once it rolls out, the budget laptop will be available to enterprise customers, such as schools and government institutes, and Jio believes that it can be an alternative to tablets for out-of-the-office corporate employees. It is estimated that a consumer launch will occur within the next three months, according to sources.
Later on, the 5G-enabled version of the JioBook will follow, once Reliance Jio and others roll out 5G services in the country. Jio will launch 5G services in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata by Diwali 2022, and promises pan-India coverage of 5G by December 2023.