British supermarket mega-chain Tesco is planning to enter the hardware space with its own tablet.
Details are thin at the moment, but it is understood Tesco wants to take advantage of its heavy customer base to sell on digital content through its own branded hardware. In doing so, it will directly compete with the likes of Amazon and Apple with its own "iPad-like" tablet.
Tesco's tablet is expected to be sold at a budget friendly £100, the Sunday Times reports, with Tesco's Blinkbox content delivery platform pre-installed. The company will hope this sees it increase its presence in content streaming, challenging existing companies like Netflix and Amazon's Lovefilm.
Content is notoriously tricky to sell because of regional restrictions that differ between networks and the countries they are being sold in. But it sounds like Tesco thinks, if it takes a hit with hardware, it will be able to entice customers into paying for Blinkbox.
The founder of business and IT analyst house Quocirca, Clive Longbottom, told TechEye that, essentially, a Tesco tablet will be a means to an end.
"It will be the vehicle for extending the presence of Blinkbox, and Tesco will go heavily for it as a hub for all sorts of media," Longbottom said, "so expect Blinkbox to include more songs and to include books as well".
"I'd be surprised if it is not Android based so as to make the most of the apps store," he said. "The big question is whether Tesco will go for a very shiny top spec and sell at a loss to make money on content, or a bare bones one where it won't have to sell much on top".
Tesco recently said it will be stepping away from selling consumer electronics - but perhaps it meant electronics that are not its own.