Kmart Android Tablet to Challenge iPad?

All eyes in the tech world are on ... Kmart?

The Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD  ) subsidiary is selling a $150 tablet computer powered by Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android operating system. That price is good through July 31, according to an online circular. Naturally, some folks are wondering if the device -- the Augen GENTOUCH78 -- poses any sort of threat to Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) wildly popular iPad.

I've not seen the device in person, but I can tell you the answer is "no."

According to the specs on the company's website, the Augen version is smaller and far less capable than the iPad. It's not in the same league and so is aimed at a different audience. Still, the price tag is the draw here; it's one of the lowest among the array of Android tablets available.

When might we see a true iPad competitor? The components alone in that device cost around $260, according to iSuppli. Also, Computerworld says Apple has "locked up access to manufacturing materials" because of huge demand for the iPad.

Bottom line: It will probably be quite some time before we see a device that can compete on price, quality, and quantity. In the meantime, we cheapskates just might have to hit up Kmart for the next Blue Light Special.

Fool analyst Rex Moore is waiting for the Martha Stewart line of tablets. He owns no companies mentioned in this article. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool owns shares of Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On July 29, 2010, at 8:43 AM, LosFlores wrote:

    Consider the APAD as well. it's hitting the ebay markets pretty hard at the moment, and a 10" version, running android, is available today for a competitive price.

    Given apple has managed to polarize users into 'Apple' and 'everyone else', thanks to their control of the software supply chain, I don't see apple taking a 'hit', per se, from budget ipad look a likes, but they won't be growing the tablet side of the business as fast as they COULD, for the same reason they failed to grow at the pace of the booming PC market in the late 80s/early 90s.

    Apple has to do it 'their' way. Which is awesome when it coincides with consumer demand, and a complete balls-up when it doesn't.

    When your CEO walks on stage and expects his loyal hordes to buy off on a made up, weak ass excuse for why his gear doesn't work right, it's a reminder of where apple came from. The real question is, would that be an indication of where they are going?

  • Report this Comment On July 29, 2010, at 10:26 AM, shivy1 wrote:

    Martha Stewart line of tablets? Is that a joke? They are probably tablets that are good for multi-tasking for things such as properly decorating your garden to selling inside information.

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