It seems Flipkart has taken another leaf out of Amazon’s book and launched a 7-inch Android tablet. However unlike Amazon, the company hasn’t gone to extent of forking Android to build a separate operating system like Fire OS.
This launch follows an earlier report that the e-commerce major was planning to launch its own self-branded tablets. There were also talks that Flipkart would launch their own smartphones but Flipkart had denied it to Medianama.
The device called Digiflip Pro XT712 is priced at Rs 9,999 and runs on now-dated Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which was first introduced in February last year. It’s not clear whether the company plans to roll out newer updates to the tablet in the future.
Other specs includes a 1280 x 800p resolution display, a 1.3GHz quad core processor, a 1GB DDR3 RAM, 4GB internal memory and dual SIM support.
Flipkart had launched the Digiflip brand in 2012 for selling accessories for cameras, computers and laptops among others, now that it has started selling its own devices, we wonder if this would further alienate several companies that would have preferred to sell on the marketplace.
Note that several OEMs have already warned consumers against buying from marketplaces such as Flipkart and this move just might worsen its relationship with these companies. Comparison of the DigiFlip tablets with competing devices from Lenovo, HP and Samsung on its product pages is only going make matters worse for Flipkart.
It’s not clear if the company will make much profit from these devices, but do note that the tablet comes pre-installed with Flipkart’s app which it hopes people will use to buy products from its service.
Flipkart’s competitor Amazon was able to do this successfully with its Kindle tablets, however Amazon had the content ecosystem that people were pretty much locked into. Flipkart does not have that luxury yet. Though it sells books, it is not clear how popular that service is. It had a music service, but had to shut it down. It does not offer any video streaming service either.
So whom is this tablet for? It might appeal to people who probably want to an affordable tablet that can make voice calls, although we are not quite sure as to why will users opt for this tablet over other low cost tablets from companies like Lenovo and Micromax.
Even if the user actually buys this tablet, there is no guarantee that it will increase the chances of people buying products from Flipkart by a substantial margin, which may be the reason the company wanted to sell the tablet to begin with. With no really differentiating factor for Flipkart’s DigiFlip tablet, it has probably become a yet another “me-too” tablet in the market.
PS: Flipkart is also promising Rs 5,000 worth of shopping vouchers with the tablet, but do check out the conditions before you make a purchase based on that criteria.