- Jio could soon roll out a low-cost laptop, JioBook, that would provide 4G LTE support.
- The device is under development and is likely to continue through the first half of 2021.
- The work on JioBook reportedly started in September last year and is speculated to go on till mid-May this year.
Reliance Jio could soon launch an affordable laptop that would provide 4G LTE support. The telecom giant has already started working on a "larger screen device" which is speculated to be called JioBook in September last year and will reach its Product Validation Test stage by April this year, according to an online report. The device is under development and is likely to continue through the first half of 2021. JioBook will reportedly run on Android OS that could be dubbed JioOS. Jio Book's firmware could also feature Jio apps.
For the Jio Book, Jio is reportedly partnering with China-based engineering firm Bluebank Communication Technology, as per documents reviewed by XDA. Bluebank creates mobile devices and develops software for third-parties, and creates products that run KaiOS, a mobile operating system also featured on JioPhones. The company has also posted images of both generations of Reliance's JioPhone on its website.
According to a 2018 Economic Times report, American chipmaker Qualcomm had held talks with Reliance Jio to launch laptops with cellular connectivity. The report states that Reliance CEO, Mukesh Ambani had then discussed running the potential laptop on a Windows 10 operating system (OS) with built-in cellular connections for the Indian market. However, the company has now diverged from what was originally discussed where components and software are concerned, the report notes.
XDA Developers reports that the current Jio Book prototype is currently using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 665 (sm6125), an 11nm chipset that was announced in early 2019. The chipset features a built-in 4G LTE modem — the Snapdragon X12 — that the JioBook will likely leverage to provide cellular connectivity to Reliance Jio's expansive 4G network.
Jio Book has been tested in various iterations and two models were revealed by the report-- the first one with a 2GB of LPDDR4X RAM paired with 32GB of eMMC storage and the second one with a 4GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 64GB of eMMC 5.1 storage. XDA has also obtained a leaked image of what the JioBook looked like in the Engineering Validation Test when it did not have fixed hardware. However, the report now speculates that the keyboard with Windows key, as seen in the image, will be replaced in the final product.
Coming to the connectivity options, the laptop may feature a mini HDMI connector for video output, support for WiFi over 2.4 and 5GHz frequencies, Bluetooth, a three-axis accelerometer, and a Qualcomm audio chip. It is also likely to come with JioStore, JioMeet, and JioPages pre-installed on the JioBook. The report also notes that Microsoft apps such as Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Edge, and Office. However, as of now, the Jio Book does not have any of the Google apps pre-installed as it is speculated to feature the Snapdragon 665 and Android. The report notes that pre-installing Google's suite of applications requires a license to distribute Google Mobile Services, which increases the price of the product.
Last year, Jio partnered with Google to work on low-cost Android smartphones. The phones which will be bundled by data packs are speculated to launch in the first quarter of 2021. The move came after Google invested Rs 33,737 crore in Jio Platforms for a 7.7 per cent stake, last year.