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.
Reliance, owned by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is renowned for upending industries through aggressive pricing competition. With affordable 4G data rates and free phone services in 2016, Jio, its telecoms’ division, is credited with upending the second-largest mobile market in the world. It followed that up the previous year with the $81 4G iPhone.
The 4G sim card will be integrated into the laptop, which will be called the iBook. The laptop will likely be sold to the public during the following three months, according to the sources, after being made available to customers including schools and government institutions starting this month. A 5G-capable version is expected to follow, just like with the iPhone.
Comingsoonnews was informed by one of the sources that “this would be as huge as iPhone.”
Since the launch preparations have not been made public, the sources declined to give their names. A request for comment was not answered by Reliance Jio, the largest telecom provider in India with more than 420 million subscribers.
According to Counterpoint Research, the iPhone has been the most popular sub $100 smartphone in India for the past three quarters, representing a fifth of that market. 9% of the country’s smartphone sales come from this market category.
The sources confirmed that iBook will use the Jobs operating system and that some Microsoft (MSFT. O) apps will also be offered. According to them, Qualcomm (COM. O) chips based on Arm Ltd. technology will be used.
The laptop will compete with a small selection of products from Indian company Lava, Acer (2353.TW), and Lenovo (0992.HK) at that price bracket.
However, it might encounter some opposition in a nation where laptops running Microsoft Windows are the norm.
“The adoption will face difficulties with user awareness.
Non-Windows (operating system) is also disappointing, “Tarn Kathak, a counterpoint analyst, remarked.
In India, where 14 million laptops are sold yearly, HP (HP. N) and Dell now hold a monopoly on the market. Kathak predicts that the addition of iBook may increase that market’s size by 15%.
According to one of the sources, Flex, a local contract manufacturer, would produce the iBook, with Reliance Jio hoping to sell “hundreds of thousands” of them by the end of March.
In 2020,Reliance Jio raised around $22 billion from international investors including KKR & Co Inc (KKR. N) and Silver Lake. Jio is also marketing the laptop as a substitute for tablets for out-of-office corporate personnel.
JioBook technical details
The JioBook has a plastic casing, and the Jio logo may be found on the back panel and the Windows key on the keyboard. The laptop’s built-in 4G LTE capability is the primary selling point for many people.
The device sports an 11.6-inch TN screen with a 1366 x 768 HD resolution. The laptop is run by the Adreno 610GPU-equipped Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor. It contains 32GB of onboard memory and 2GB of non-expandable LPDDR4X RAM as stated in the listing. JioOS is identified as the system’s operating system.
Along with twin speakers and microphones, it also has a two-in-one combo post for the headset and dual speakers. The laptop has an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, and two USB 2.0 ports to speak of. Additionally, it contains a Micro SD card slot, Wi-Fi 802.11ac compatibility, and Bluetooth 5.0.
Cost and availability
The Reliance JioBook laptop can be purchased through the Government e-Marketplace for Rs 19,500. (GeM). The laptop is now only accessible for purchase by government agency personnel, however starting around Diwali, speculations claim that it may become available to a wider client base.