UK supermarket Tesco will release an own-brand Android smartphone later this year, according to the company’s CEO, who revealed early plans to the BBC in an interview. Tesco entered the world of consumer electronics late last year, when it launched the Hudl, a Kindle Fire-style tablet with an average specification and a budget price tag.
CEO Philip Clark said the new smartphone would come “pre-installed with Tesco services,” just like the Hudl, and that it won’t be a low-end device, but will have a specification comparable to the Galaxy S5. Samsung’s latest flagship has an impressive feature list, including a 5.1-inch, 1080p screen, a quad-core processor, and a 16-megapixel camera. The Galaxy S5 is well-specced, but it’s also expensive. The Tesco phone, which could be called the Hudl Phone, will be “aggressively priced” according the the BBC’s report.
In addition to the smartphone, Tesco will replace the Hudl tablet with the Hudl 2, although the updated spec isn’t discussed. The Hudl entered an already very crowded market, and the chain has apparently sold 500,000 units since its announcement in September last year. There are concerns the 7-inch Android tablet market isn’t as popular as it once was, so it’ll be interesting to see if Tesco also increases the Hudl’s screen size to try and capture more attention.
However, if the Android tablet market has proven tough to crack, then Tesco’s smartphone needs to be something really special if it’s to make any impact. If the rumors are correct, Amazon, another newcomer to the smartphone world, seems to have the right idea with the so-called Fire phone. We doubt Tesco has a 3D interface for its phone in the works, so will it chose to go down the OnePlus One route, and produce a high-end phone with a very low price? Depending on which company produces the phone, it has the potential to be a winning formula.
Clarke told the BBC the Hudl 2 would be out in September, but didn’t provide any specific launch details concerning the phone.