According to two sources, Reliance Jio will offer a cheap laptop with an inbuilt 4G sim card for $184 (15,000 Indian rupees), trying to emulate the success of its low-cost Jio Phone in India’s price-sensitive market.
The Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate has collaborated with global behemoths Qualcomm and Microsoft on the Jio Book, with the former powering its computer chips based on Arm Ltd technology and the latter offering support for select apps.
Jio, India’s largest telecom company with over 420 million users, did not reply quickly to a request for comment.
According to insiders, the laptop will be accessible to corporate users such as schools and government organizations starting this month, with a consumer launch expected within the following three months. A 5G model, similar to the Jio Phone, will follow.
“This will be as large as Jio Phone,” one individual with firsthand knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
According to Counterpoint, the device has been India’s top-selling sub-$100 smartphone since its introduction late last year, accounting for a fifth of the market over the previous three quarters.
According to one of the sources, the Jio Book would be manufactured domestically by contract manufacturer Flex, with Jio hoping to sell “hundreds of thousands” of devices by March.
According to IDC, overall PC shipments in India were 14.8 million units last year, topped by HP, Dell, and Lenovo.
According to Counterpoint analyst Tarun Pathak, the launch of the Jio Book would increase the overall addressable laptop market sector by at least 15%.
The laptop will run Jio ‘s Jio OS operating system, and programs will be available for download from the Jio Store. Jio also promotes laptops as a viable alternative to tablets for corporate employees who work outside the office.
Jio, which obtained over $22 billion in 2020 from worldwide investors such as KKR & Co Inc and Silver Lake, is credited with disrupting the world’s second-largest mobile market when it released low-cost 4G data contracts and free call services in 2016, and subsequently the $81 4G smartphone.