According to two sources with firsthand knowledge of the situation, Reliance Jio will soon release a laptop for under 15,000 rupees ($184), making it among the most affordable options available in India, in an effort to build on the success of its low-cost phone.
The news was initially reported by Reuters.
For the JioBook, the Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate has worked with tech behemoths Qualcomm and Microsoft, with the former providing its computer chips, which are based on Arm Ltd. technology, and the latter offering support for some apps.
With more than 420 million customers, Jio is India’s largest telecom provider. Jio did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The laptop will be made accessible to business users this month, including universities and government agencies, with a consumer launch likely within the next three months, according to sources. A 5G-capable version will come after, much like with the JioPhone.
“This will be as big as the JioPhone,” one of the sources told Reuters.
Counterpoint claims that the device has been India’s best-selling sub-$100 smartphone since its late-year launch, holding a fifth of the market for the past three quarters.
One of the sources told Reuters that Flex, a local contract manufacturer, would produce the JioBook, with Jio hoping to sell “hundreds of thousands” of them by the end of March.
14.8 million PCs were shipped to India overall last year, with HP, Dell, and Lenovo leading the way, according to the research company IDC.
According to Counterpoint analyst Tarun Pathak, the introduction of the JioBook will increase the overall addressable laptop market sector by at least 15%.
Jio’s own JioOS operating system will be used on the laptop, and programmes may be downloaded via the JioStore. Jio is promoting the laptop as an alternative to tablets for corporate workers who work outside of the office.
When Jio introduced affordable 4G data plans and free voice services in 2016, as well as the 4G smartphone at a price of just $81, it is credited with upending the world’s second-largest mobile market. In 2020, Jio raised about $22 billion from international investors including KKR & Co Inc and Silver Lake.