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'PC retail missing out on fruitful kids tablet market worth £80m'

Dominic Sacco
'PC retail missing out on fruitful kids tablet market worth £80m'

The battle of children’s tablets is heating up this Christmas – and vendors are urging tech retailers not to let the lucrative sector pass them by.

Devices such as the VTech InnoTab, LeapFrog LeapPad and KD UK’s Kurio are strong in the UK market, which was worth some £50 million in 2012 and is set to surpass £80 million this year, with nearly one million unit sales, according to NPD Group.

“I think PC stores are missing out,” VTech Electronics Europe senior brand manager Andrew Welch told PCR.

“Kids are becoming more and more used to computers and in recent years tablets – for enjoyment and within schools.”

KD UK’s marketing and licensing director Tracey Devine agreed: “This category is simply in its infancy – it seems that tablets are topping all children’s lists this year.”

Samsung has also entered the fray after launching its Galaxy Tab 3 Kids in November, making it one of the first tech giants hoping to take a bite out of the growing sector.

“We have high ambitions for this segment given the initial market feedback and believe it will continue to grow,” a Samsung spokesperson commented.

“Although it has been designed to provide a controlled environment suitable for children, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids can also be used as a fully functioning Android tablet, broadening its scope and differentiating it from other competitors in this space.”

However, established specialists do not fear Samsung’s presence in their category.

“I think it will become more challenging for new tablets trying to establish themselves in this market area,” commented VTech’s Welch, who believes the sector will be more competitive this Christmas than it was in 2012.

“VTech is an experienced leading company in the market for children’s technology and the InnoTab 3S is in a strong position to be the top kids tablet for this Christmas.”

KD UK’s Devine said of Samsung’s move: “We welcome the competition but we’ve got the only tablet in the marketplace loved by kids and trusted by parents. No one offers a tablet such as Kurio – entirely with families in mind.”

Tesco and Argos have also launched their own-brand tablets for the festive period. “We are keen to avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ [over price],” Argos technology trading manager Simon Barry told PCR.

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Tags: Samsung, tablet, market, children, kids, galaxy tab, vtech, leapfrog, kurio, leappad, innotab, KD

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