SEPT. 11, 2012 • Toys “R” Us is bringing its own kids branded kids tablet to market on Oct. 21. The $149.99 Tabeo will arrive with WiFi connectivity, an HDMI port, 1GB of RAM, front and rear cameras, 4GB of storage memory, a 7-inch screen, and 50 pre-loaded games and apps that run on the Android 4.0 operating system. An SD port allows for additional storage memory to be added. Some of the games featured are Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja, Temple Run, Tiki Golf and Tiki Cart 3D. Education content available includes AlphaTots, Discovery Kids Putterbugs, Operation Math and TechCalc. The retailer is also managing a Tabeo App Store that has that has thousands of free educational apps, programs and games selected especially for children from the AppsLib service. Archos in France is manufacturing the Tabeo for Toys “R” Us, which explains the strong resemblance to the former’s $129 ChildPad device.
Impact: The Tabeo is an interesting concept that is targeting a crowded market. Probably its biggest direct competitor is the LeapPad from LeapFrog which is priced at $99. A key selling feature of the Tabeo is it comes pre-loaded with many games. Software for the LeapPad can be somewhat pricey, often in the $20 range. However, a key advantage of the LeapPad is it has its own unique software that is not available for other systems. Although lacking access to the wider Android community in protect kids, the Tabeo is more like a traditional Android tablet and thus competes not only with the iPad but the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble Nook, both of which are great for children and are in a similar price range. Given the competition and the fact that the Tabeo is only available at Toys “R” Us we think it will have limited market impact.