It would seem everyone is trying to grab a piece of the mobile development market. Google pushed out the Nexus 7, Amazon has 3 new versions of its Kindle, and now Toys R Us has put out its Tabeo. This thing is intended to be for kids and looking at the physical design this seems pretty obvious. With children playing more and more with tablets it makes sense for Toys R Us to put out its own version of the popular Personal Computers.
What Does It Offer?
The Tabeo is set at an interesting spot in the mobile development market. Hardware wise it sits right between the lower-spec tablets put out by toy firms and the full devices running child-friendly apps. It offers an ARM Cortex A8 processor running at 1GHz, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), a 7-inch touch screen with 800 x 480 resolution, 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of built in memory, a front facing camera, a microSDHC slot and Wi-Fi capabilities. It comes with 50 Pre-installed kid-friendly applications ranging from educational to entertaining, like Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja. The Tablet also comes with the ability to access the Tabeo Market which offers more than 7,000 free apps as well as paid options created by the Tabeo Team to offer the best experience they can for children.
Parental Concerns With Tablets
The biggest worry for parents when it comes to the idea of handing their child an internet-connected device is not knowing what they might get into. One of the biggest selling points for the Tabeo is the customizable parental controls which allow for levels of security to be set for up to 8 users. You can restrict access so that the device is only usable for certain users during set times on specific days with an email notification that can be sent if a user bypasses the built-in browser settings. It has 27 pre-determined categories for viewable content as well as the ability to specify sites that you want blocked from certain users.
Concerns For Toys R Us
With all of the tablets coming out from various companies itÔÇÖs hard to grasp why this version will compete against tablets like the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD. Toys R Us will have to find a way to monetize the device similar to the way Amazon has done with the Kindle Fire. With a competitor like Apple out there, you have to connect the device with content if you are going to undercut the price. For $150 it is not a bad price, but with rumors of a $200 iPad mini the question becomes would a child rather have a Toys R Us tablet for $50 less than the iPad competitor.
The Tabeo does bring some interesting possibilities to the Toy company such as offering digital versions of board games when you buy their physical counterpart. This would be a great way to promote sales, but also gain better data on what their consumers want.
What I Think
With the companies all over starting to take a whack at the mobile development market it does cause some worry as the iPad still has a very strong hold on the market. The reason devices like the Nexus 7 and the Kindle FireÔÇÖs can succeed is that they offer content consumption that the iPad lacks. Each of these devices has a niche that it fits into that has a following. For a company like Best Buy or Toys R Us to push out a successful device they would need to find a way to create a unique experience based off of their services that would be attractive to people looking for a tablet.
The Tabeo is a good option for those that are looking for an inexpensive device geared towards their children. This device offers parental controls that make it possible to heavily restrict a childÔÇÖs movement throughout the internet and ensure that they are not seeing things you do not wish them to see. With the focus on child friendly applications and the Tabeo App Store this could be a great choice for the family. The possibilities for this device exist within the mobile development market, Toys R Us just needs to connect their store to the tablet in a strong way.