Tesco to launch premium Hudl phone by Xmas

TESCO yesterday announced that it would sell its own smartphone this year, following in the footsteps of its Hudl tablet last year.

Tesco’s chief executive Philip Clarke, speaking on BBC Radio 5 yesterday morning, revealed the grocer’s plan to release a premium Hudl smartphone by Christmas.

Clarke said the Hudl smartphone would be a high-end device similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S5, will run Google’s Android mobile software and would come loaded with a full range of Tesco services, including Blink-box, its video streaming product.

“The opportunity in online retailing is what led us in developing the Hudl phone,” Clarke said.

Tesco first entered the tablet market when it launched the Hudl in September with a price tag of £119, and it had sold 550,000 units as of the beginning of May, said Clarke.

In December, Tesco said it planned to release the Hudl2, a successor to its first tablet around September 2014, with the launched date being confirmed yesterday by Clarke.

Tesco’s push into mobile devices ties in with a number of its digital initiatives, which Clarke is promoting as part of a recovery plan that focuses on raising multi-channel sales.

Britain’s biggest supermarket last month posted a six per cent fall in profit, with like-for-like sales down three per cent, as budget grocery chains ate away at Tesco’s market share. As a result, Clarke said that Tesco would build no more mega stores.