Tesco, a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer, announced yesterday that by the end of this year it will launch its own Android smartphone to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S5. The company released a budget tablet called the Hudl last year and plans to release the Hudl 2 in September.
So what will make the Tesco smartphone stand out from other Android smartphones? First off, it will be a more affordable smartphone option, enticing buyers while at the same time marketing their company. Like the Hudl, the smartphone will come preinstalled with apps for the grocer’s shopping sites and digital services such as video streaming and music. It’s anticipated that there will be virtual coupon book application, special offer alerts, and a barcode scanner. The phone could also let buyers skip the checkout line entirely and pay for goods digitally.
Tesco is making a groundbreaking move into the technology space, a major battleground for traditional retailers. A growing number of Britons shop online via mobile devices or check competitors’ prices while shopping. Tesco is looking to make a splash and cause some chatter in the retail space. The company has been struggling to thrive in an increasingly competitive market; in March 2014, Tesco’s market share shrunk to the lowest level in almost a decade.
Phil Clarke, Tesco’s CEO, was formerly the head of IT at Tesco and it’s showing in his business strategy:
“Big companies take a long time to change,” Mr. Clarke said. “You only have a job like this for a few years and what you do with it is critical. What I’m going to do with it is be ready to win in this new [era of retail].”
When Tesco revealed it’s 7-inch Hudl tablet last September, it was met with a fair amount of success, especially locally in the UK. Priced at ₤119, or around $200, Tesco was reported to have sold over half a million units. It will be interesting to see how Tesco markets their newest smartphone and if it will truly compete with the Galaxy S5.