Walmart is supposedly working on its own Android tablet, in what is likely an effort to compete with Amazon and its popular Fire tablets.
This comes from a report out of Bloomberg, who has spoken with those familiar with the matter at Walmart, and the company is planning an inexpensive, kid-friendly tablet. Which is looking to take aim at the Fire tablet Kids Edition tablets that Amazon sells – and sells quite well. Bloomberg did get a comment out of a Walmart spokesperson, which is a bit unusual when it comes to unannounced products. The spokesperson did confirm that the product is in the works, but did not say anything further, regarding it.
According to recent FCC filings, it'll be under the ONN store-brand. And it appears to be part of Walmart's new redesign of its electronics department. According to the FCC filing, the tablet will sport Android Pie. Which in itself is a bit surprising. Usually tablets like this, that are super cheap, are running on older versions of Android. It will also sport a 8-inch 1280×800 resolution display, powered by the MediaTek MT8163, with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The storage does appear to be expandable. Unfortunately, it does come with micro USB instead of the newer USB-C, but again that is likely to keep this cheaper. It will also come with a 3500mAh capacity battery inside.
This tablet is going to be made by an unnamed Chinese company – could be Foxconn, or even an Android OEM like Huawei – and it will run Android OS. From what it looks like, it'll also get full Google apps support. Considering the picture from the FCC listing does show Chrome, Gmail and a few other Google apps on the home screen.
Walmart has been taking on Amazon in a number of areas over the past few years, as it looks to become the biggest e-retailer, as well as the biggest retailer. It has it's own two-day shipping, which doesn't cost $119 per year, and it has also been venturing out into its own gaming laptop lineup. Under the same ONN brand, it has a few "budget" gaming laptops that are sold in stores. These are usually around $500-750. So they are still not technically cheap, but better than a lot of the other gaming laptops that you'll find from Dell, Acer and ASUS in this same price point. So that means it's really no surprise that Walmart is looking to jump into tablets as well.
The only thing is, the tablet space is all-but dead. Many smartphone makers have opted to stop making tablets, because people aren't buying them. Only Amazon, Samsung and Huawei are making tablets these days, and really only Amazon tablets are selling. Part of the reason Amazon tablets are selling, is due to their price points. Samsung's Galaxy Tab S4 comes with a steep $600 price tag, meanwhile an Amazon tablet tops out at about $179. Making it a much more affordable tablet, and also a lot more popular. But due to most phones being about the size of a tablet these days, many people are opting to stick with a laptop and a smartphone, leaving out the tablet. It'll be interesting to see if Walmart can change that.