Tesco's low-budget tablet might have been a good idea, but a high-end smartphone is a bold and quite unpredictable move for a non-traditional tech firm with no technology manufacturing experience.
As the world increasingly uses mobile computing to access services on the internet, the market for mobile devices and smartphones is expected to grow significantly, from almost three billion today to four billion in 2017.
Yet the mobile operating systems war - with Android as a mobile platform open to many devices versus closed systems such as those of Apple and BlackBerry – has been a game changer in the field and has helped smartphone producers to focus more on hardware and other features in order to attract customers.
Low-end devices have been able to capitalise on that by promising access to mobile platforms such as Android at a low cost, thus helping low-budget customers reap the benefits of using advanced software without paying a high price.
However, the high-end market at which Tesco is aiming is somewhat different.
Mobile producers such as Samsung, HTC, Apple and Sony have spent years developing high-tech devices that include a long list of features to accommodate even the most demanding tech users out there.
Breaking into that category directly and gaining the slightest market share will be very difficult for new starters such as Tesco.
Dr Markos Zachariadis is assistant professor of information systems at Warwick Business School
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