Bottom Line: Not much room at the bottom

Marc Sidwell
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IF APPLE doesn’t want to chase the low end of the market, there are others who do. In America, Intel has announced its chips will be inside US tablets selling below $99 by Christmas. In the UK, step forward Tesco. Next Monday’s launch is widely anticipated to reveal a Tesco tablet cheap enough to consider buying a family pack.

The trouble is, while there are plenty of price-sensitive buyers around, and good-enough technology is getting cheaper all the time, who wants to pick a fight with Jeff Bezos? It is rumoured the 16GB Tesco Hudl will cost around £100. That will handily undercut the iPad Mini’s £269, and even the £159 16GB Kindle Fire HD, but Amazon’s 8GB Kindle Fire already sells for £99.

One thing that may help is Tesco’s developing sideline in digital content: Blinkbox Video is a great subscription-free alternative to Amazon’s LoveFilm or to Netflix. Blinkbox Music and Books look promising, and with ClubcardTV Tesco has even integrated Blinkbox into its rewards programme.

But why not just build an app instead? Dedicated tablets didn’t work for Barnes & Noble and Nook.

Tesco is right that cheap tablets and related devices are a market opportunity. But it is a brave company that decides to take on Amazon in a price war.