Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has gotten into the tablet world for a new demographic, as its Android operating system has been chosen by Toys R Us to run its proprietary tablet computer designed for kids, which was announced Monday. While the tablet market is still pretty new in general, the tablet market for children has already blossomed and exploded last year with sales of the LeapPad from LeapFrog, which dominated the holiday shopping season.
Toys R Us does sell the iPad among other electronics, but its new 7-inch Tabeo tablet is set to compete with the LeapPad and the TechnoSource Kurios Kids tablet. Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) will have its Android 4.0 operating system running the tablet, which is reported to have 50 pre-installed apps for children – including games and an e-book app for reading. The Tabeo is slated to retail for $150 and is expected to launch in late October in time for the holiday shopping season – and in time to directly compete with the LeapPad 2, which is already taking pre-orders.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has dominated the mobile market overall with its Android OS – including taking up 58 percent of the smartphone market. Getting into the kids’ tablet market in the wake of the fierce success of the LeapPad seems to be risky, but it appears that Toys R Us has latched on to an OS that is popular with the general audience, and the retail price will at least be competitive with other similar products on the market. There is no word yet whether the Tabeo will have any connectivity or compatibility with any other Android devices like tablets or smartphones, in terms of exchanging some apps or information between devices. And with several iterations of the Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android OS in the marketplace, how compatible will the Tabeo be, or is this version of Android a special version meant only for the Tabeo? Hopefully those questions can be answered in the coming weeks.