Tesco's reportedly getting into the hardware business with branded tablet

Tesco's grown from supermarket heavyweight to digital content contender thanks to its paid Blinkbox TV / movie and music streaming services, Clubcard TV ad-supported video platform and in-development e-book store. According to The Times, Tesco's about to get into the hardware business, too, with the launch of homegrown tablet sometime before Christmas. Details of the rumored device are non-existent, but it's said to come loaded with video, music and e-books, as well as apps for Tesco's online shopping, banking and Blinkbox services. It's a completely plausible next step for the company, and would mimic Amazon and Google's model of selling low-cost hardware, in part, to showcase their digital content offerings. Presumably, there's also scope for a 3G variant running on Tesco Mobile. We'd guess that if the retailer does release a tablet, it'll run Android and be extremely budget-friendly -- it'll have to be to go up against the new Nexus 7 and Amazon's Fire slates (let alone the rumored next-gen). As always, we've hit up Tesco for confirmation and comment, and will update you if we hear anything back.

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