Walmart Is Planning to Develop Tablets as the Retailer Makes Moves Into the Tech Industry

It looks like Walmart is planning to start making its own tablets. In a product application with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, the retailer included photos of the device, which will be made by a Chinese supplier and run on Google’s Android operating system, Bloomberg reports.

The tablets will be sold under Walmart’s ONN brand, the photos show. Walmart has not yet released information about the cost of the device or when it will hit stores, but a spokesperson for the retailer confirmed to both Bloomberg and CNBC that “a private brand tablet is in the works.”

Tablet shipments fell 6.2% last year, as the smartphone market continued to grow. The top-selling tablets were Apple’s iPad, followed by Samsung Electronics, and Amazon.com Inc.

Even so, Bloomberg reports that some retailers have successfully developed kid-friendly tablets, that are also more affordable than Apple’s line of iPads. And Walmart hopes to do the same.

The retailer has been making moves into the tech industry, as it focuses on home goods and electronics moving forward. Walmart has nonetheless struggled to develop its image as a more “modern” company, while its biggest competitor Amazon has been an innovative force with its own electronics.

Walmart was represented as a tech company at this year’s South by Southwest conference in Austin with Chief Technology Officer Jeremy King giving a presentation about some of the new technology in its stores, CNBC reports.

“For years now … I’ve wanted people to understand we are building a tech organization,” King told CNBC. “I’ve got a machine learning team. We have some of the best apps in the world.”

Fortune

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