Telecom giant Reliance Jio has been working hard on its hardware offering and has launched phones and laptops in the budget segment. The company introduced its second laptop, the JioBook (2023), earlier this year in July at an aggressive price of Rs. 16,499. Jio now appears to be planning to expand its PC range, with a new report claiming that the company is planning to launch a cloud laptop for around Rs. 15,000. The cloud laptop, which will reduce the high costs associated with shipping a laptop by working from Jio Cloud, will be launched in India in the coming months.
A report by The Economic Times on Saturday said that the Mukesh Ambani-owned telecommunications company was in talks with top manufacturers such as HP, Acer and Lenovo to introduce the laptop in the country within a few months.
Quoting a senior Jio official, the ET report claimed that the laptop would be a ‘dumb terminal’, with all its processing and storage functions running on the Jio Cloud infrastructure, reducing the need for expensive hardware and therefore the cost of ownership for a laptop. However, keep in mind that a cloud-based computer requires an always-on internet connection to access storage, processing, and other functionalities outside of the cloud that a regular laptop could perform natively.
“The cost of a laptop depends on the hardware, such as memory, processing power, chipset, etc. The larger capacity of this hardware increases both the cost and the battery power. What we are doing is removing all this and the entire processing of the laptop will be done at the back end in the Jio cloud,” ET quoted the Jio official as saying.
The report also states that Jio plans to tie the laptop to a monthly cloud subscription, similar to Apple’s iCloud or a Google One subscription. However, cloud membership pricing will be finalized at a later date. The cloud subscription is also likely to bundle many Jio services, with specialized features available at higher levels.
The proposed cloud laptop is currently being tested on an HP Chromebook, the report said. Additionally, the cloud PC software can also be accessed on existing devices, such as a desktop or a smart TV, without the need to purchase the cloud-based device
In September, Jio launched its AirFiber, a digital entertainment and Wi-Fi service that offers access to over 550 digital TV channels, along with subscriptions to over 16 OTT apps. Jio’s AirFiber services are aimed at users with limited fiber internet access at their premises and provide a Wi-Fi-like internet connection based on 5G FWA (fixed wireless access). Jio AirFiber is now available in 262 cities in India, with plans starting from Rs. 599 per month.
In July, the company launched the JioBook (2023), successor to the first JioBook introduced last year. The latest JioBook is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT8788 processor and runs on the Android-based JioOS operating system.
Earlier this month, Jio also launched the JioPhone Prima 4G feature phone for Rs. 2,599. The phone runs on the KaiOS platform and supports popular apps like WhatsApp, YouTube, Google Search, Facebook and a host of Jio services. There is also speculation that the company is working on a 5G phone.