UK retail chain Argos will this week launch its own budget tablet, making it the second Brit-based non-tech firm to launch a slate in the past month.
While supermarket giant Tesco recently pulled the wraps off its £120 ($190) Hudl, Argos’s MyTablet will sell for even less – £99 ($158) – matching the cost of the cheapest Kindle Fire (8GB).
Hitting stores Wednesday, MyTablet comes with a 7-inch 1024×600 display, 8GB of memory, a dual-core 1.6 GHz processor, a 2-megapixel rear camera and a 0.3-megapixel front facer.
The device also features a micro SD card slot (up to 32GB) and an HDMI port, with battery life on the Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 slate coming in at 5 hours.
The tablet –available in pink or silver aluminum – is being built by electronics company Bush together with a Chinese manufacturer. It’s aimed primarily at the tween market and comes with parental controls already enabled.
Argos technology trading manager Simon Barry said that regarding price and performance, he believes the new tablet “hits the sweet spot.”
“Kids find it hard to share, so we’ve priced our tablet at a level that means everyone in the family can have one,” Barry told the BBC.
The retailer’s managing director, John Walden, is confident the budget-priced tablet will sell well over the holiday season.
“Millions of people have bought tablets during the last year but there is still around 75 per cent of the UK population without one,” he said. “We know that tablets will feature heavily on Christmas lists this year.”
As with Tesco and its Hudl device, MyTablet’s attractive price tag suggests Argos is attempting to follow in Amazon’s footsteps, making little or no profit on sales of the device while instead aiming to gain revenue by pushing its goods and services via the tablet.
Research firm Gartner forecasts global tablet sales will grow by 67.9 percent this year, hitting 202 million units. In an effort to grab a piece of the pie, Argos will heavily market its tablet at its 700+ brick-and-mortar stores dotted around the UK, though consumers looking for a low-cost slate will also be taking a careful look at the Kindle Fire and Hudl, among others.