Reliance Jio plans 'cloud' laptop in bid to reduce ownership costs

After telecom, Reliance Jio has set its sights on disrupting the PC market. It plans to launch a cloud PC laptop soon for around ₹15,000, which will drastically cut the ownership costs. The Mukesh Ambani-owned company is in talks with top manufacturers, such as HP, Acer, Lenovo, etc to bring the laptop for the Indian market in a few months.

A senior official at India’s telecom market leader told ET that the laptop will be a “dumb terminal” with all the storage and processing on the Jio cloud, which will help slash the cost of ownership from roughly ₹50,000 at present while allowing users to access all the services at a faster speed.

People familiar with the matter said trials are ongoing on HP chromebook for the proposed cloud PC. Jio plans to offer a monthly subscription for the cloud PC, pricing for which will be finalised later. For those, who don’t want to buy a new device, the cloud PC software can be installed on any desktop or even a smart TV to access computing features. “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,” the official said.

Rel Jio Plans ‘Cloud’ Laptop in Bid to Reduce Ownership Costs

Queries sent to Jio remained unanswered at the time of going to press. This is the second time that Jio is coming out with a laptop. In July this year, the company had launched 4G-powered JioBook for ₹16,499. The laptop was based on the JioOS operating system, but the new cloud PC is expected to run on other operating systems including windows.

“We will give a laptop for ₹15,000 with the Jio cloud. You have a dumb terminal, you use it like a normal laptop but all your memory, processing etc, which is adding to the cost, is stored in the cloud. The same laptop can be used by multiple people with personalised services,” said the official. As part of the monthly subscription, many services will come bundled with it while more specialised features can be purchased at an additional price.”The cost of licensing can be lower as the same PC can be used by multiple people of a family with their personalised logins, instead of having two-three devices,” another official said. Jio is aiming to have a big presence in the digital services market as the opportunity is huge, especially in the hybrid kind of workplaces. Many companies these days offer work from home, and they want a secure environment for its data assets. Jio is looking to provide digital services which offer the same level of security, even when an employee is working out of home.”These kinds of services will become the main force going forward. Connectivity is only a bottom layer for us. Jio’s model is not about connectivity. Jio’s model is about digital services,” said the official. The company is first trying to provide ubiquitous connectivity to all the people and after that, it will start offering digital services, which will bring incremental revenue.


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