Tesco Hudl tablet sales hit 500,000, new model planned

Can the retail giant emulate Amazon's ecosystem-building success?
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Retail giant Tesco has sold 500,000 of its own-brand Android tablet since its launch in September last year, and announced this week it plans to unveil a successor to the device later this year.

Tesco's Hudl tablet has a seven-inch 1440x900 HD screen, with 16GB of storage (expandable to 64GB) and runs Android Jellybean 4.2. It's available from the retailer for £119, or around £60 for those paying using points racked up on the store's loyalty card.

As well as allowing access to the Google Play store, the Hudl works as a gateway to Tesco's services — a model that bears a resemblance to Amazon's strategy with its Kindle Fire tablets. It includes a 'launcher' button which takes users directly to Tesco's digital services, including blinkbox movies and TV, music and Clubcard TV, banking, and shopping for groceries.

The device went on sale at the end of September last year in 1,000 stores. In its preliminary results published yesterday, the retailer said it had sold 500,000 Hudls and said: "we plan to launch a second device later this year", but did not provide any more details.

More than half of UK consumers own or have access to a tablet, with around 12 million of the devices sold in the UK last year, according to consultants Deloitte. While analyst CSS Insight puts that number at more like 17 million, both see much of the growth in the tablet segment coming from smaller slates.

CCS Insight calculates that smaller tablets accounted for 63 percent of sales in the UK in 2013, up from 34 percent in 2012, and said in 2017, two out of three tablets sold will have a screen smaller than nine inches.

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