News Column

Tesco to launch own-brand smartphone

May 7, 2014

Zoe Wood and Samuel Gibbs



Tesco is to launch an own-brand smartphone later this year as its chief executive Philip Clarke looks to cash in on key consumer trends such as mobile shopping.

Technology is a major battleground for traditional retailers as a growing number of Britons shop online via their mobiles or use them to check rivals' prices while browsing in store. The handset follows Tesco's foray into computing last year with the Hudl tablet. Like the Hudl, the phone will be pre-loaded with apps for the grocer's shopping sites and digital services such as music and video streaming. Amazon is also gearing up to release an own-brand smartphone, after the success of its Kindle Fire tablet.

Clarke told BBC Radio 5 Live that the Android phone would compete with "the best smartphones available". The phone would be aggressively priced, he said, pitching it against Google's Nexus 5, which at around pounds 300 undercuts the competition by pounds 200. Tesco declined to give further details ahead of the launch. A new model of the Hudl, which sold 400,000 units in its first three months and had subsequently sold a total of 550,000, will be released this September, it said.

Clarke, who is under pressure to turn around Britain's biggest retailer, also indicated he wished to stay at the helm until 2020. "I'm 54 and I have been at it for 40 years," he said. "I think normally in Britain people like me retire at 60 and that gives me another six years."


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Source: Guardian (UK)


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