by Adam Benjamin | September 12, 2013 12:33 pm
Toys “R” Us has just announced the next generation of its Tabeo kids’ tablet — the Tabeo e2.
The new device is a follow-up to the original 7-inch Android device aimed at providing a low-cost tablet experience for children. The Tabeo was basically a cheap, locked-down version of any other Android tablet, dressed up in rubber and marketed toward kids (well, and toward their parents).
The Tabeo e2 is a minimally updated version of the same.
As tablets like the Apple (AAPL) iPad and Samsung’s (SSNLF) Galaxy Note continue to saturate the market, becoming an increasingly common source of information and entertainment, it’s no surprise that companies are targeting children — many whom are now growing up with tablets and mobile devices, spawning the term “digital native.”
Thus, the Tabeo isn’t without competition. Fuhu has a whole line of Nabi tablets for kids, including the Nabi 2, Nabi Jr. and the Nabi XD. In fact, Fuhu filed a lawsuit against Toys “R” Us in September 2012, claiming the company’s Tabeo tablet represented breach of contract and a misappropriation of trade secrets. There has yet to be a resolution to the case, but it’s hard not to picture two kids in the ball pit re-enacting an argument they saw between grown-ups (in this case, Apple and Samsung).
Anyway, Tabeo isn’t going to start eating away at Apple’s or Google’s (GOOG) market share — most consumers who are going to spend $150 on a tablet just for their kids can afford a $300 tablet for themselves.
But, the Tabeo e2 is yet another affirmation that companies will continue to market consumer electronics at any and every niche that isn’t completely saturated.
Adam Benjamin is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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