According to reports, Reliance Jio plans to follow the success of its low-cost phone with the debut of a laptop that will be one of the cheapest on the market in India, costing just Rs. 15,000 ($184).
Reliance Jio is notorious for its disruptive low prices. Its telecom division, Jio, is credited with shaking up the world’s No. 2 mobile market in 2016 by offering free phone service and cheap 4G broadband services. A year later, in 2017, it released the JioPhone Next for Rs.6499.
The laptop, dubbed JioBook, will be accessible to customers such as schools and government institutes starting this month, with a public launch expected within the following three months, according to the report.
This will have 4G support, and a 5G-enabled variant, is on the way, adds the report. “This will be as big as the JioPhone,” one insider told Reuters. Because the launch preparations have not been made public, the sources declined to be identified. It was previously reported that the laptop is powered by a Qualcomm SoC and will run a custom version of Android OS called JioOS.
Jio book showcase in IMC 2022.
— Piyush Bhasarkar (भसारकर) (@TechKard) October 1, 2022
According to Counterpoint Research, the JioPhone has been India’s best-selling sub-$100 smartphone during the last three quarters. The category accounts for 9% of phone sales.
JioBook that will run Android-based JioOS will have certain Microsoft apps. It would feature Qualcomm chips based on Arm technology, they added, and it is rumoured to be Snapdragon 665. The laptop will compete with Acer, Lenovo, and Indian manufacturer Lava. In a country where Windows laptops dominate, it may face pushback. Jio reportedly plans to sell “hundreds of thousands” of JioBook laptops by March.
According to Tarun Pathak, a Counterpoint analyst,
User awareness will be a challenge for adoption.” Also, the lack of a Windows operating system is a letdown. At the moment, HP (HPQ.N) and Dell sell most laptops in India, which is a 14 million-unit-a-year market that could grow by 15% with the addition of JioBook, he further believes.