Honey, can you pick up a tablet at the grocery store?

“Originally derided as a pricey niche product for geeks, tablet computers have become so common that supermarkets are now selling their own brands, pushing out low-cost rivals,” Leila Abboud and Paul Sandle report for Reuters. “The shifting nature of the market underscores how millions of people are choosing simpler devices to surf the web, send emails and shop, putting pressure on traditional PC companies.”

“And since Apple pioneered the tablet in early 2010, the gadgets now available at the lower end of the market are becoming commodity items that non-technology companies can order from Asian contractors using common components,” Abboud and Sandle report. “Tesco in Britain and Walmart in the United States, are selling their own branded tablets pitched at customers unwilling to pay $400 or more for an Apple or Samsung product.”

“Grocers like Tesco and France’s Carrefour are not only trying to cash in on booming tablet sales, but also to nudge people to buy everything from films to groceries from their online stores, pushed through their devices,” Abboud and Sandle report. “Traditional computer makers including Asus, Acer, HP, Lenovo, Dell, Sony, LG will continue to be squeezed, said Gartner analyst Tracy Tsai.”

“Carrefour is also selling smartphones and a smartwatch starting at 149 euros, in addition to four tablets, while a Pakistani bakery chain called Gourmet poached a former Samsung executive to help it sell smartphones starting at $15,” Abboud and Sandle report. “Tesco shifted more than 400,000 of its Hudl tablets, priced at 119 pounds ($200) in little over three months after a September launch.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The difference between a junky video-consuming supermarket tablet and an Apple iPad are stark. The high quality customers that Apple wants can easily make the distinction. The junk consumers can have their junk.

Related articles:
Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers – October 23, 2012
Who’s going to buy Apple’s iPad? Millions of people, that’s who – January 27, 2010

11 Comments

    1. These are mostly being sold to people who simply don’t have the money for an Apple iDevice. Better they have something instead of nothing. Plus in time, these people will want an Apple device after getting used to using a tablet and realizing the limitations of the cheaper wares.

      $400 to $1,000 is a lot of money to a lot of people. Unfortunate, but true. I refuse to shop at Walmart for a variety of reasons. Walmart for many people is the only way they can eek by. When all you can get is a $7.50 an hour job, Apple products are usually beyond your ability to afford them.

      I’m sure most of us on this forum are better off than most since we’re already part of the Apple ecosystem. It’s easy to lose sight of those less fortunate.

      1. Apple’s approach to market share is to gain it from the top down. This approach takes longer but is sustainable and profitable. As you described everyone wants an idevice but not everyone can afford one. In time some of this group will be able to buy that idevice.

  1. Some of these cheap tablets are great for use as throwaway devices or in an environment where you don’t want to put a nice iPad.

    My friend picked up a lenovo android tablet which he kept in his glovebox. He paired it with a bluetooth ODB2 diagnostics reader and installed Torque on it. He ended up with a nice engine scanner and diagnostics device for a fraction of the cost of a high end specialized piece of equipment.

    Uses like this make sense to me.

    Trying to get an iPad experience out of a $100 or less tablet obviously is not going to work out.

  2. “Honey! Can you pick up a tablet for me at the grocery store please?”
    “Yes dear, do want an aspirin, paracetamol or the morning after tablet?”
    “Very funny dear! but I am not laughing, get me an iPad please!”
    “Oh!, sorry dear, is it that time of the month? JUST JOKING dear!!! 16 or 32 or 64Gb?”
    “16! and no wise cracks please!”

  3. The danger here is that the affordable tablets will be good enough for now and by the time they are comfortable with its use, users may be invested in that OS too heavily to move over to iOS. Over time at the rate of iOS change vs other OSes the smaller gap in functionality may not make iOS the obvious choice when the user is ready to ‘upgrade’.

    1. I doubt there’s much investment: the purchase price is low, users aren’t likely to pay (much) for apps, and the user experience isn’t going to be distinguished. They’ll be able to upgrade to a used iPad and get all the advantages

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