Bloomberg is reporting that Walmart is "moving into iPad territory," in its plans to make a children's tablet. This clearly low-end device from a retailer known for its cheapness somehow constitutes — and I feel the need to quote Bloomberg again here — an "iPad rival."
Details about the new device are still sparse, but a Walmart spokesperson confirmed the company is working on the product. The children's tablet will launch under Walmart's ONN electronics brand, be manufactured by an unnamed Chinese company, and is expected to run Android. Given these details, it might be more apt to call Walmart's tablet for kids a "Kindle Fire rival," than anything else.
The ONN brand, up until now, has mostly been used for generic cables, headphones, and other more basic, high-margin accessories.
Bloomberg further believes that Walmart plans on making electronics a bigger focus this year in general. That might be a tough move given the decline of the tablet market, and the expected slowdown in the phone market this year.
Mishaal Rahman, one of our buds over at XDA Developers, tracked down the specs for the tablet:
Walmart will sell a cheap Android tablet with Android Pie, the first tab with Android Pie not from Samsung or Huawei.
* 8-inch 800x1280
* MediaTek MT8163
* 2GB RAM
* 16GB storage (expandable)
* Android 9
* 3500mAh, 5V/2A
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) March 8, 2019
As expected, they're not great. It's powered by a low-end MediaTek 1.3GHz SoC and packs 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, and an 8" 1280x800 display. That all places it a whole lot closer to Amazon's Fire 7 Kids Edition than an Apple iPad in specs. At least it's running Android 9 Pie, right?