Crowded as the tablet market may be, there's still at least one company willing to throw its hat in the ring. The Sunday Times reported that Tesco, the world's second-largest retailer, has plans to launch its own tablet that will go toe to toe with Amazon, Google and Apple in time for Christmas.
While Tesco representatives have yet to comment, the new product is expected to compete with the likes of the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, putting it in a cheaper price range to undercut the iPad mini. It will likely be Android-powered and focus on pre-loaded apps for Tesco services.
The retailer has been relatively quiet about its infiltration of the British tech market, but Tesco Mobile is already the fifth-largest mobile phone network in the UK. Through its stores, the company sells plenty of tablets, smartphones and appliances, but it is believed a tablet of its own would help boost sales of digital content like music, DVDs and books.
Tesco is already working on that by buying several tech startups, the most successful of which has been Blinkbox. The service lets users stream movies, TV and music through their iPad, smart TV, Xbox 360 or PC, but is likely to grow significantly if the retailer launches its own tablet.
The chain's ace in the hole, though, is Dunnhumby, a Tesco-owned company that could prove much more important than its name suggests. Dunnhumby collects, manages and analyzes customer purchasing habits, something Tesco has already applied to its Clubcard to target offers to customers based on their shopping habits.
If the retailer launches its own tablet, Tesco could use that same intelligence with customers' online shopping and entertainment habits. In a tablet market already full of giants, harnessing the power of that information could be what sets Tesco's tablet apart.
- See this International Business Times story
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