Tesco has decided to shelve plans for a smartphone to focus on the development of a sequel to the Hudl tablet it released last year.
The retailer's first foray into the tablet market has racked up more than half a million sales and in May it announced it was working on the Hudl 2 alongside a proposed smartphone that would run on the Android operating system and be benchmarked against other high-end smartphones.
But in a blog post, group multi-channel rirector Robin Terrell said that the increasingly competitive smartphone market had prompted the company to put the plans on hold for the time being.
“We were confident that we could offer customers something we saw was lacking in the mobile market: an affordable, quality 4G smartphone handset,” he wrote.
“As we developed the idea in the first few months of the year, we could see a gap we could fill for our customers. The technology sector is fast changing and constantly evolving and since then, the mobile market has become even more competitive. So in early July, I took the decision that we would put the phone on hold and concentrate on the Hudl 2 tablet.”
Both the phone and the Hudl tablets are aimed at boosting Tesco’s e-commerce business, with the new devices both due to come pre-loaded with all of Tesco's digital services such as Blinkbox, an online shopping app, Tesco Direct, F&F Clothing and online banking.
While the phone looks to have been placed on the back burner, Terrell was keen to talk up the new tablet, which is due to launch imminently.
“Hudl 2 improves on just about every area of its predecessor, from screen size to speed, design and accessories,” he wrote.
“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. 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.”