Telecom giant Reliance Jio has been hard at work on its hardware offerings, launching 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 seems intent on expanding its PC lineup, with a new report claiming the company plans to bring a cloud laptop to market at around Rs. 15,000. The cloud laptop, which will cut down the high costs involved with shipping a laptop by working off of Jio Cloud, will launch in India in the coming months.
A report from The Economic Times on Saturday said that the Mukesh Ambani-owned telecommunications firm was holding talks with top manufacturers like HP, Acer and Lenovo to introduce the laptop in the country in a few months.
Citing a senior Jio official, the ET report claimed that the laptop would be a “dumb terminal” with all its processing and storage functions done on Jio Cloud infrastructure, thus reducing the need for expensive hardware and consequently bringing down the cost of ownership for a laptop. Bear in mind, however, a cloud-based computer would need an always-on internet connection to access storage, processing and other functionalities off the cloud that a regular laptop would be able to perform natively.
“The cost of a laptop depends on its hardware like memory, processing power, chipset etc. The greater capacity of these hardware increases costs as well as battery power. What we are doing is, we are stripping all this and the whole processing of the laptop will happen at the back end in the Jio cloud,” ET quoted the Jio official as saying.
The report also said that Jio plans to pair the laptop with a monthly cloud subscription, much like Apple’s iCloud or a Google One subscription. Pricing for the cloud membership, however, will be finalised at a later date. The cloud subscription will also likely bundle a host of Jio services, with specialised features available on a higher tier plan.
The proposed cloud laptop is currently undergoing trials on an HP Chromebook, the report added. Additionally, the cloud PC software could also be accessed on existing devices, like a desktop or a smart TV, without having to buy the cloud-based device
Back in September, Jio launched its AirFiber, a digital entertainment and Wi-Fi service, offering access to over 550 digital TV channels, along with subscriptions to over 16 OTT apps. Meant for users with limited fibre Internet access at their location, Jio’s AirFiber services offer Wi-Fi-like internet connection based on 5G FWA (fixed wireless access). Jio AirFiber is now available in 262 towns in India, with plans starting from Rs. 599 a 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 Android-based JioOS operating system.
Earlier this month, Jio also launched JioPhone Prima 4G feature phone at Rs. 2,599. The phone runs on KaiOS platform and supports popular apps like WhatsApp, YouTube, Google Search, Facebook and a host of Jio services. The company is also speculated to be working on a 5G handset.