Walmart is planning to release an inexpensive tablet under its in-house ONN brand, a spokesperson for the company has confirmed to Bloomberg. The report claims the device will be manufactured by a Chinese supplier, run on Android, and it’s expected to be aimed at kids.
The tablet is the latest attempt by the retailer to establish itself in the electronics space after it released a Walmart-branded lineup of gaming PCs and laptops last year under its new Overpowered brand. We reviewed the so-called Overpowered 17+ laptop and were left disappointed by its flimsy build quality, poor specs, and insufficient customer support. Reviews of the desktop gaming model have been similarly unimpressed.
What’s different about the upcoming Android tablet is that it will reportedly be aimed at the budget end of the market. Its main competitor will be Amazon, which produces tablets like the $79.99 Fire HD 8 and $149 Fire HD 10 — both of which are available as child-friendly Kids Editions. However, Amazon’s tablets run on its own Amazon Fire OS, a fork of Android, and so they don’t have access to a full range of Android apps. If Walmart’s tablets run on stock Android rather than a fork, this could be a key advantage for it.
Bloomberg’s report doesn’t mention pricing or availability for Walmart’s new tablets, but since at least one of them has already been certified by the Federal Communications Commission, they shouldn’t be too far away from release. If Walmart finds the right price for its tablets, it could find its niche in the electronics market.