Tesco to launch own tablet before Christmas, sources claim

The supermarket giant will launch its own tablet this year, to compete with the likes of Amazon and Apple.

Tablets

Another tablet is on the way, this one made by supermarket giant Tesco, The Sunday Times reports (subscription required).

There are no specs for the device, and Tesco refused to confirm or deny its plans. But it'll be an "iPad-style" tablet, according to the paper, and will be on sale in time for Christmas. It'll come pre-loaded with books, films and music, as well as apps for Tesco's digital grocery and banking products. Blinkbox, Tesco's Web-based film and music service, is also thought to feature heavily.

The Sunday Times' sources said Tesco hadn't decided on a price for the tablet yet, but it'll be a "high quality" device similar to Amazon's Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire starts at £129, and I'd wager Tesco wants to keep it around that price or even cheaper, to make it an attractive proposition for its customers.

I'd also put a rather large bet on the tablet running Android.

So why Tesco? And why now? The supermarket's profitable books and DVDs market has been decimated by digital competition from Amazon and Apple. If it can offer a tempting tablet at a good price, it's hoped it'll win back that business.

I'd expect it'll follow Amazon's approach lock, stock and barrel, and kit the device out with a skinned version of Android. The Kindle Fire gives Amazon's selection of offerings pride of place. The money Amazon makes from flogging e-books, films and music through it means it can sell the tablet at a loss.

Tesco wouldn't be the first supermarket to enter the tablet game. A couple of years ago, Asda started selling the Arnova 8, a £99 Android tablet, though it wasn't Asda-branded. That's no longer on sale, though Asda does sell something called the Prestigio Dual Core Android Tablet, which sounds pretty exciting, for just £87. Fashion retailer Next also started selling its own tablet back in 2010.

Would you buy a Tesco tablet? What would it have to do to win you over? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

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