The 7-inch, 8GB Android-powered “MyTablet” device costs £99.99 and will come in pink or silver when it goes on sale tomorrow (16 October). It comes with pre-installed apps and games including the Argos retail app, BBC iPlayer, Angry Birds and an e-Book reader.
The product will be promoted through the brand’s upcoming Christmas advertising campaign and targets families more likely to use it for entertainment and educational purposes rather than business. It is also filled with pre-loaded parental controls in an effort to capitalise on calls for greater security measures on mobile devices from some parents and campaign groups earlier this year.
The product has been developed following research commissioned by Argos which revealed the most popular uses for tablets include playing games (61 per cent), social networking (49%), listening to music (37%).
John Walden, managing director of Argos, says the device has been priced “competitively” and fits “neatly’ within its current range of tables. The retailer will be hoping the price point can convince more price-conscious consumers over the key festive period after reporting its first sales jump in five years in the 12 months to 2 March 2013.
Walden adds: “Customers have never had such a good quality tablet at such an affordable price. Millions of people bought a tablet last year but there’s still around 75 per cent of the UK population who do not yet own one. We know that tablets will feature heavily on Christmas lists again this year.”
It follows hot on the heels of the launch of Tesco’s Hudl tablet last month as non-technology brands look to exploit demand for less pricier alternatives to Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab devices. Tesco said at the time its Android tablet will be marketed as the antidote to “intimidating” tech ads by focussing on real people using tablets.
The flurry of activity comes as the number of tablet devices in the UK continues to rise. There are around 19.7 million tablet users in the UK according to research company Emarketer, up 39 per cent year-on-year.