Toys ‘R’ Us to launch Android Tablet for KidsDale Wright
Forget the Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 or iPad – there’s a new gun about to hit in town as the tablet gold rush continues to gather pace, one you might quite feasibly call ‘The Kid’.
Toys ’R’ US is the latest name to enter the burgeoning smart device market with the launch of its very own child-friendly tablet, the Tabeo, in the US.
Unlike previous kiddie tablets such as the education-focused LeapPad, the Tabeo comes Wi-Fi enabled and, like many adult tablets, runs the market-leading Android OS. Priced at $149.99, it comes pre-loaded with 50 free apps, mainly games such as the ever-popular ‘Angry Birds’.
Toys ‘R’ Us has reportedly developed a store of more than 7,000 apps in support of the launch, expected in October.
While the focus on games and internet connectivity suggests Toys ‘R’ Us is aiming to position the Tabeo for the handheld console market, perhaps targeting younger children than the likes of the Nintendo DS, the pricing, design and focus beg questions over whether it is different enough to mainstream tablets to have much of an impact.
With devices such as Amazon’s new Kindle Fire priced in the same bracket at $159.99, and it being simple enough to load any smart device with a dizzying array of games, free or otherwise, it could be suggested that the only plus the Tabeo has over ‘adult’ tablets in appealing to children is a gaudy paint job.
However, the decision by Toys ‘R’ Us to launch an own-brand gadget-toy could have other motives. The global chain has become increasingly concerned by the rise of internet shopping and is exasperated by the practice of ‘showrooming’, where customers come into its stores to sample the latest gaming craze before going away to purchase on-line at a lower price.
The Tabeo will only be available in Toys ‘R’ Us stores, perhaps signaling more an intention to manufacture more of its own products than a serious attempt to take on the tablet market.
Do you think your child would benefit from a tablet specifically aimed at them? Or do they love using your tablet and you don’t see the need for this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section..