Tesco, the world’s third-biggest retailer, has entered Britain’s intensely competitive tablet market with a low-priced own-brand product that it hopes will boost online shopping and drive sales of its digital entertainment content.
The British firm on Monday said its “Hudl” device, which has a 7-inch screen, runs Google’s Android operating system and has 16 gigabytes of storage, would be priced at ￡119 (US$190), taking on a market dominated by Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics Co and Amazon.com Inc.
Tesco is attempting to revive its fortunes in its home market after losing share to rivals, but has suffered a series of setbacks to its reputation this year, including the discovery across Europe of horsemeat in products labeled as beef. In June the firm posted a drop in quarterly underlying sales in Britain, resuming a trend seen for most of the past three years and raising doubts about its ￡1 billion turnaround plan.
“It’s a reflection of the way Tesco is changing and also a reflection of the way the world around us is changing,” chief executive officer Phil Clarke told reporters at the Hudl launch.
The Hudl device has quick access to Tesco’s online shopping and banking sites, as well as its blinkbox movies and TV on demand service, Clubcard TV, music streaming and e-book services.
Tesco’s device will compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which retails for ￡99, Google’s Nexus 7, which costs ￡199 and Apple’s iPad mini, which sells for ￡269.
“If you compare the specification that we’ve put together with the specification of similarly priced products on the market we’ll beat them hands down,” Tesco chief information officer Mike McNamara said.