Orange Mobile made the surprise announcement today that it is releasing its first tablet device to UK consumers.
Orange mobile network has announced that it is releasing its own Android tablet, the Tahiti, for the first time.
The device is available today for £69.99 on a £25 per month, 24 month data plan. It will also be available free on a Connected 24 month plan with the San Francisco II mobile phone from only £41 per month.
The device has a 7-inch screen, a dual core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor with a 5-megapixel camera, with 8GB of storage and 512MB of RAM, and a battery life of 6 hours. It will also have wi-fi, Bluetooth and 3G compatibility. Tahiti runs Google Android’s 3.0 Honeycomb operating system, giving it access to all of Google’s software and app stores, and will also run Adobe Flash.
The device was built for Orange by Huawei, is similar in capability to the Huawei Mediapad, but the company says it is a custom built device rather than simply a rebranded model.
"We’ve worked with this third party manufacturer to develop a tablet experience which is specifically designed to be compatible with our network and feature Orange services," said an Orange spokesperson.
The tablet market is booming, with email views up 73% across last year. This brings it into competition with not only the dominant iPad 2, but also competing second tier ‘cheap’ tablets such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which was built by Blackberry Playbook maker Foxconn.
Orange Apps have also been added to the Android Marketplace, and the device will not be available for outright purchase (it will only be available on a plan).
"We’re pleased to be expanding our portfolio of own-brand devices into tablets for the first time. The Tahiti is a stylish, lightweight device with a great quality screen, which we believe really does offer great value innovation and will help customers to get the most out of their multimedia content whilst on the go," said Paul Jevons, Director of Products and Devices for Everything Everywhere.
Everything, Everywhere is a UK joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom, which saw the merger of T-Mobile and Orange. No plans have been announced to produce a similar device for T-Mobile customers.