Can Tesco dominate in the UK tablet market?

Written by Mattlj92

The tablet market has seen rapid expansion in recent years.

The tablet market has seen rapid expansion in recent years. What started off as a market almost single-handedly dominated by Apple and the iPad has become much more diverse with a something-for-everyone approach.

A diverse market

Joining Apple initially was Samsung who with their Galaxy Tab series offered a realistic competitor to their giant rivals; they also started to push them with the S3 offering a competitor to the iPhone. The market now has seen a rapid change in not only direction but competition with other tech giants such as Amazon weighing in with the Kindle Fire. Of course Google’s launch of the Nexus 7 was seen as a game changer.

The launch of the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 also portrayed a price shift, the tablets were popular and only seven inches compared to the much larger iPad (of course Apple then launched the iPad Mini to keep themselves in the market) and they were cheaper, the iPad series remained at the higher end of the market staying true to the Apple brand but now mobile tech from the big names was more cost friendly.

The new diversified market meant that more people were able to access mobile technologies and sooner or later the supermarket giants were bound to see that this was no longer a niche market for tech-lovers and those who like to indulge themselves in the latest trends. The Apple brand had already helped bring tech into the hands of the masses but now a tablet was become a staple for the masses.

The more mass marketable start came with TESCO who earlier in 2013 announced the launch of their own-brand tablet the Hudl. The seven inch Hudl has humble specs but also comes with a lowly price of £119. Something that Tesco hope will convince people to part with their money.

Is the Hudl worth it?

Whilst the specs may not be anywhere near the iPad you get what you pay for. For the money though you get what appears to be a quite humble and effective tablet. Boasting Android’s Jellybean 4.2.2 the tablet has access to the Google App store that will be a positive for many and comes in a range of colours.

Offering a High Definition display the Tesco Hudl also saw a gap in the market in that it’s truly a suitable for the family tablet. For the grown-ups amongst us you can buy leather cases and earphones to make it look sleek. For people with kids you can get a silicon protective bumper case and headphones.

Of course the benefit here for Tesco is that the supermarket giant gets the money from every purchase as opposed to Apple who no doubt cannot keep tabs on all the unofficial products for their iPad.

Another genius move by Tesco was to add their own app into the tablet that will take people to their own Tesco hub. In a world where we’re increasingly going online to get our shopping this move could encourage people to head straight into the app.

Tesco’s leap into the tablet world had not gone unnoticed. Aldi announced that they too would be moving into the tech world and launched their own tablet priced at just £79.99. The Medion Lifetab, similar to the Hudl has humble specs.

The pressure is on in the tablet market

Selling out in just 24 hours the the Lifetab showed that the British market does have a place for tablets. The modest Lifetab had launch scenes that echoed that of Sony’s Playstation 4 as opposed to a humble piece of kit. Eager shoppers queued outside Aldi stores nationwide to pick up the latest addition to the tablet market.

Also having their own tablet in the market are Argos whose launch of the Argos MyTablet went relatively unnoticed. However they will no doubt see their offering trumped by Tesco and Aldi. Namely due to Tesco’s expansive presence in the British market.

It’s not just an adult market however. Children’s company Leap Frog saw how quickly the tablet market was infiltrating the global home and have offered their own tablet aimed at youngsters. Again, it doesn’t have specs that would set the world alight, but that’s not what you’d expect for children.

Priced at just £89 though the LeapPad is a good way for parents to help their tech savvy kids keep up with an ever so technological world. The LeapPad also comes with a series of pre-installed parental controls.

So the more moderately priced tablets look to be giving more and more pressure to the big boys. The addition of supermarket own brands will only add more pressure that if affecting their sales will raise questions as to the prices of larger brands.

What do you think of the state of the tablet market? Can Tesco trump Apple and Amazon? Have your say on the tablet market in the comments section below.

Image: Mrs Maccas / Flickr