Punters gobble up Aldi tablet

By Allie Coyne on Jun 6, 2012 11:19 AM
Filed under Mobility

Proves demand for low-end devices - but what about top tier?

Consumers have turned out in droves for a bargain-bin Android tablet selling in limited supply at supermarket chain Aldi.

The $249 Android tablet was advertised as a “special limited buy” by Aldi last week.

The tablet sold out in five minutes on its first day on sale after the supermarket chain’s North Sydney store opened for trade this morning, according to PC World.

The 9.7in AMD-971R Bauhn tablet runs on Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich OS and is powered by a 1GHz Amlogic Cortex A9 chip, with 16GB internal memory.

It also includes a 2MP back and 0.3MP front camera, 1GB RAM, microSD card slot as well as micro HDMI and micro USB ports.

Stock numbers were not disclosed. Aldi did not respond to request for comment by the time of publication.

Future of high-end tablets

With the tablet race forcing PC manufacturers to one-up each other in the battle for consumer attention, Aldi’s success with its Bauhn tablet shows there is high demand for base-level devices at bargain-bin prices.

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Leader in the tablet space Apple sold 3 million of its new iPads on opening weekend in March, breaking its own record for device sales. 

No other tablet manufacturer has yet been able to replicate the success Apple has seen with its high-end iPad devices. But Telsyte analyst Foad Fadaghi doesn’t think Apple’s rivals should head to the bottom of the bargain bin just yet.

“The lower-end of the market has existed for a long time and has been popular to date. Telstra’s T-Touch Tab wasn’t a very well-specced device, but sold a large number when it was available, more so than some of the expensive brands,” he told CRN

“The low-end market is highly competitive and seemingly not very lucrative, so it’s probably best avoided by the premium brands unless they have some competitive advantage in producing similar products.”

Customers shelling out upwards of $300 for a tablet have different needs to their more thrifty fellow shoppers, according to Fadaghi. He highlighted Amazon's $300 Kindle Fire tablet (currently only available in the US) as an example of a low-cost device desired by consumers not for its computing power, but its use as a multimedia device.

With most lower-end tablet manufacturers opting for the Android system on their low-cost devices, Fadaghi said Windows 8 created an opportunity for traditional PC vendors to get in on consumer desire for cheaper models, whilst not sacrificing revenue and quality.

“[With] Windows 8 as the tablet platform of choice, [PC makers] could create an environment where the smartphone, tablet and PC works together, similarly to Apple’s ecosystem. If that happens it would be more empowering for them,” Fadaghi said. 

“I think there will be vendors that focus on top-end and creating strong competitive products to Apple’s devices, and will be able to do with similar opportunities around scale.”

 
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