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Tesco Hudl smartphone cancelled as the “time just wasn’t right”

Michael Sawh

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Tesco Hudl smartphone

At the launch of the Hudl 2, Tesco’s Group Digital Officer Michael Comish explains why the supermarket giant ditched the idea to launch a cheap phone.

Speaking exclusively to TrustedReviews, Cormish discussed the main reasons why the company decided to abandon plans for a Hudl smartphone to sit alongside the Hudl 2 tablet:

“We just saw the bottom end of the smartphone market dry up. The Chinese manufacturers, they have pretty much got it covered. So, we were able to say, our customers are being served and that’s not a place we want to compete. So let’s double down on the Hudl.”

Cormish revealed that the company had looked, “long and hard at the phone space” and while the company felt like it was in a position to offer something substantially better than what was available twelve months ago, it didn’t feel the same about it now.

He also touched on the type of big costs involved in mass production and development, which involve trying to nail the user experience and having to carry out the same rigorous process as they do making the Hudl tablet.

News that the Hudl smartphone was being shelved surfaced back in September when Tesco’s multichannel director, Robin Terrell confirmed the company had “put the phone on hold” and that a decision to do so was made in July of this year.

During that period we have of course seen the rise of the excellent Moto G and while Cornish didn’t directly make reference to Motorola’s sub-£150 phone, its success has no doubt played a part in Tesco’s decision not to join the cheap phone party.

While Tesco is not entirely writing off the prospect of revisiting the Hudl smartphone it sounds unlikely for the time being as Cormish commented, “If there’s an unmet consumer need then you go after it. But if consumers are happy and satisfied as they are at the moment, you look for something else."

For now though, it’s going to be concentrating on the Tesco Hudl 2, another £129 Android tablet that goes on sale on October 9th and feature a new Full HD display, Intel quad-core processor and an improved main camera.

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