Original Hudl tablet sold out in pre-Christmas rush.
Tesco has revealed it is shelving plans to build an own-brand smartphone to instead focus on developing a successor to its popular Hudl tablet.
The company’s CEO Philip Clarke had said earlier this year that a Tesco smartphone would go on sale, but this will no longer be the case, Robin Terrell, Tesco’s multichannel director, said in a recent interview.
Although the company was confident it could offer customers an affordable, quality 4G smartphone handset, Terrell said, these plans have now been put on hold, possibly indefinitely, due to the ultra-competitive nature of the smartphone market.
Clarke, who has come under scrutiny recently due to Tesco’s poor financial results, had said that the phone would be comparable to the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Instead, Tesco is planning to launch the next generation of its Hudl tablet, a low-cost Android device which surprised many industry observers with its popularity over Christmas 2013, and has sold over half a million units.
The as yet unnamed device is set to launch in the next few weeks, with Terrell saying it improves on its predecessor in areas including screen size, speed, design and the number of apps available.
"Where the first Hudl was used by many as a secondary device, Hudl 2 has the capability to take its place as customers’ primary tablet in the home," Terrell said.
"We are very excited and when we launch it in the next few weeks I think customers will be too. The opportunity remains strong in the tablet market," he added.