Argos has entered the tablet market with a £99.99 product, undercutting Tesco who released the £119 Hudl last month.
The firm, which is owned by Home Retail, said today that its own-brand MyTablet would be targeted at teenagers, taking on a highly competitive market dominated by Apple, Samsung and Amazon.
Tesco sold 35,000 Hudls in two days following its 30 September launch – the fastest-selling tablet launch ever seen at the retailer – and Argos is keen to tap into this growing segment as part of its reinvention from a catalogue-led to digitally-led business.
"Millions of people have bought tablets during the last year but there is still around 75 per cent of the UK population without one," said Argos managing director John Walden.
Home Retail has posted five straight years of profit decline and hopes the change of direction for Argos will result in a 15 per cent rise in sales to £4.5bn by 2018.
The MyTablet has very similar specs to Tesco’s offering with a 7in screen, Google's Android operating system, pre-loaded apps and Internet browsing, TV, music, video streaming and social networking.
However, MyTablet only has 8 gigabytes of standard memory compared to 16 on the Hudl and also has a lower resolution screen, an inferior battery life and is only available in two colours versus the Hudl's four.
Both devices will compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire, which retails for £99, Google's Nexus 7, which costs £199, and Apple's iPad Mini, which sells for £269.
Market research company EMarketer estimates there are 19.7 million tablet users in the UK, up 39 per cent year-on-year.
Sebastian James, CEO of Dixons Retail, Europe's second biggest electricals retailer, said last month that although there is a market in Britain for cheap, basic tablets, consumers were often left disappointed by purchases.
"We get a lot back because people use them and they say 'no, what I wanted was an iPad' and they are not," he told Reuters. "There's a reason why an iPad is more expensive, it's just better."