Oct 15 - Argos enters the intensely competitive tablet computer market with a 99.99 pound own-brand product that is 16 percent cheaper than one launched by Tesco. Ciara Sutton reports.
99.99 pounds is today's daily digit - the price of an own brand tablet computer from Argos. The 'My Tablet' is 16 percent cheaper than Tesco's Hudls and a first for the British retailer. It's comes with built-in parental control as its target audience are tweenies - children aged between 8 and 13. Argos owner Home Retail has posted five straight years of profit decline. Head of Own Brand, Joanne Savage say it's trying to move on from being a traditonal catalogue company. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF OWN BRAND AT HOME RETAIL, JOANNE SAVAGE, SAYING: "Argos is undergoing a big transformation to become a digital retail leader. So we're the UK's biggest catalogue business. We're also the biggest shopping website om the UK, and our transition is getting bigger and better every day. So hopefully the launch of this tablet will accelerate that." The tablet runs on Google's Android operating system, has nine hours of battery life and can tap into more than a million apps. But it's a competetive market dominated by Apple and Samsung. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF OWN BRAND AT HOME RETAIL, JOANNE SAVAGE, SAYING: "We don't think the tablet game has been played yet. About 75% of the UK doesn't yet own a tablet. Therefore we are offering something more affordable so that all of the family can have a tablet. Particularly the tween market." And Argos isn't alone. Amazon has also joined the increasingly crowded tablet market. It's recently slashed the price of its Kindle Fire by a third to match Argos' tablet and unveiled two new high-definition models with a unique on-screen helpdesk feature. With tablets tipped to be this year's Christmas must have, the battle to swipe the top spot is well underway.