Aldi joins tablet fray with launch of own device

Aldi is the latest retailer to join the increasingly competitive budget tablet market with the launch of its own device, following in the footsteps of Tesco and Argos.

Aldi is launching its first tablet.

The supermarket chain has teamed up with electronics firm Medion on the 7-inch 8GB Android-powered “Lifetab E7316”. It will cost £79.99 and goes on sale on Sunday (8 December) with apps such as security service Kaspersky and Microsoft Office editor Softmaker coming pre-installed.

The product is being promoted as a “Specialbuy” on the Aldi website, with the launch supported by a print ad campaign. Aldi is describing the device as a “sleek, multimedia tablet” that can be used for work, music and apps.

The launch follows similar moves by other retailers as non-technology brands look to exploit demand for cheaper alternatives to Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab range. Argos launched its “MyTablet” device in October in a bid to boost sales over the festive period.

Tesco was the first UK supermarket to release a budget tablet, launching the 7-inch Android-based Hudl device in September that costs £119, although discounts are available to Clubcard holders. It sold 35,000 units in the first 48 hours of sale, with that figure now reaching 300,000, the supermarket said this week.

CEO Philip Clarke said the firm is struggling to keep up with demand and expects to exceed 600,000 sales in the run-up to Christmas. The supermarket chain is planning a follow-up in 2014 that will include enhancements such as improved camera and storage.

Tablets are expected to be big sellers over Christmas, with Currys and PC World estimating that they will shift 1m devices over the festive period. According to figures from eMarketer, tablets are used by a third of the UK population, with almost 20m people using one at least once a month.

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