Reliance Jio may foray into India’s burgeoning laptop market soon.
The JioPhone maker is currently working on the ‘JioBook’. (Photo credit: Reuters)
Reliance Jio may foray into India’s burgeoning laptop market soon. The JioPhone maker is currently working on the ‘JioBook’, a low-cost laptop with Android-based JioOS software and 4G connectivity, according to a new report. That Jio may enter this category isn’t surprising. Reports dating back to 2018 have suggested Jio’s interest in launching an affordable laptop though it is only now we’re getting some more finer details.
Citing internal documents, XDA Developers is reporting that work on the ‘JioBook’ started sometime in September last year and development is expected to continue through the first half of this year. The laptop is expected to reach the Product Validation Test stage by mid-April and may be launched by the end of this year. A prototype image accompanying the report gives some idea about what the laptop could look like eventually.
The leaked image shows off the laptop with a dedicated Windows key but the report is quick to add that the laptop will not ship with Windows software—which also means, the final product may swap the Windows key with another button. Instead, the JioBook will be based on some kind of custom fork of Android, tentatively called JioOS, that Jio seems to be also developing simultaneously.
Google already has dedicated software for laptops, aka Chromebooks, which is ChromeOS so it is a little surprising that, that isn’t being used here. At the same time, Google and Jio are already working on low-cost smartphones running a localised version of Android software so the laptop software could be an extension of that partnership, we just can’t say for sure yet.
The JioBook is said to come with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 665 processor and it will make use of its Snapdragon X12 4G modem for connectivity, in addition to dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It is said to come with up to 4GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 64GB of eMMC 5.1 storage. The size of the screen is unknown but the JioBook is said to come with 1366×768 pixel resolution display.
The report adds that China’s Bluebank Communication Technology is Jio’s manufacturing partner for the JioBook, the same company that also appears to have developed the JioPhone.
Jio is yet to confirm any of this so we advise you to take this information with a pinch of salt. At the same time, Jio foraying into the laptop segment won’t be surprising since it is, most likely, the next logical step in reaching out to even more customers at a time when laptop/PC sales are at an all-time high in the wake of a global pandemic.