Aldi moves into smartphones with launch of cut-price device

Aldi is extending its increasingly popular brand into the smartphone market with the launch of a cut-price device that it says it is “confident” will repeat the success of the tablet it released last year.

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The discounter has again teamed up with electronics firm Medion on a four-inch 8GB Android-powered smartphone. The device will cost £79.99 and is available on the Aldi website now with apps such as security service Kaspersky and Microsoft Office editor Softmaker coming pre-installed.

Aldi also plans to restock the Medion tablet it introduced in December following a “successful” launch. It will introduce a revamped version designed to appeal specifically to children.

The kid-friendly tablet comes equipped with an extra thick silicone case and a “Junior Mode” that lets parents monitor usage and create a list of preapproved websites for children to visit. It will also cost £79.99.

“We are really excited about entering the smartphone market and are confident of it having success similar to the tablet,” says an Aldi spokesman.

Budget devices are the latest battleground in the smartphone industry with brands including Motorola, Samsung and Nokia all launching sub-£100 phones. Non-technology brands are now looking to exploit demand for less pricy alternatives to Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S4 devices.

Aldi is the first supermarket to launch its own smartphone, although Tesco is preparing a cut-price phone under its Hudl brand that should be available before Christmas. That follows on from the success of Tesco’s Hudl device, which sold 500,000 units in the seven months following its launch in September.

The move into smartphones is a further sign of Aldi’s growing product range and bid to appeal to a wider audience. Kantar Worldpanel figures show its sales are growing at double-digit rates and it is on course to overtake Waitrose to become the sixth biggest grocer.

It is also UK consumers’ top brand, according to YouGov, overtaking companies such as John Lewis, BBC iPlayer and Samsung in the mid-year list.

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