Best Buy Co. Inc. will launch the Android-based “Insignia Flex,” for $239 to $259, a source told Reuters this week.
The Insignia Flex, which was revealed on Facebook last week, will hit stores Nov. 11 and be sold only at Best Buy.
The tablet, featuring Android 4.0 ICS, will have a dual-core 1GHz processor, a 9.7-inch screen and a 10-hour battery life, the Facebook page revealed. Reuters’ source also indicated it will feature a camera for video conferencing and weigh in at about 1.45 pounds.
Best Buy will continue to sell rival devices, the source told Reuters, because the retailer wants to be known as a destination for tablets.
The Insignia Flex will compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD tablet, Google’s Nexus 7, and a raft of other Android tablets from Google and Samsung. Apple’s iPad mini tablet is to be launched Oct. 23.
Best Buy’s tablet will monetarily undermine entry-level models of Apple’s iPad ($499) and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 ($399). The Insignia Flex will be comparable price-wise to the seven-inch Galaxy Tab ($250) and the iPad Mini, which is likely to start at $250 to $300.
Best buy’s decision to enter the tablet market may be a desperate attempt to better compete with its online rivals Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Microsoft.
The 1,400–store chain has reported severely diminished earnings: $33 million in the third-quarter, an 87 percent drop from the same quarter in 2011.