Toy R Us is introducing a kid-friendly, lower-priced tablet in October just in time for the holiday buying season.
“Toys R Us plans to launch its own tablet computer aimed at children called Tabeo on Oct. 21, a low-priced entry into the increasingly crowded tablet business.”
“The news comes ahead of the holiday season, which can account for up to 40 percent of retailers’ annual sales. Toys R Us has focused on exclusive toys rather than discounts as it faces tough competition from online retailers like Amazon.com and discounters like Wal-Mart Stores Inc.”
“The 7-inch touchscreen tablet comes with 50 preinstalled apps selected for children, including games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, and a book app called istorybooks. It will retail for $149.99 and runs on Google Inc.’s Android operating system.
Toys R Us sells other electronics including Apple Inc.’s iPad, but this is its first store-brand tablet. The Tabeo’s main competitors include LeapFrog Enterprises’ LeapPad and VTech’s InnoTab.”
Toys R Us is no dummy and knows how many kids are using their parents’ tablet. Mashable, which covers technology and social media, did an entire infographic on kids using tablets. Here’s what they found.
“…more than half of children between the ages of five and eight have already used tablets to play or learn, according to some research. For kids between the ages of six and 12, the iPad was the most coveted gadget last Christmas. Tablets are permeating family life, too; in households that own a device, kids 12 and under get their hands on it more often than not.”
“The iPad, especially, is becoming prevalent in American education. More than 1.5 million are currently in use by students, and schools bought some 47,000 in the first month-and-a-half after its release. There are currently more than 20,000 apps meant for education, and 80% of learning apps in the App Store target kids. Some studies even show that students who have access to iPads do better in school than kids who don’t.”
Here are some more stats on kid tablet use from the infographic. I have summarized some of the data. Click the link to read all the details regarding the studies.
– Percentage of kids who have used a smart device by age:
10 percent of 0 to 1 year olds
39 percent of 2 to 4 year olds
52 percent of 5 to 8 percent
– 7 out of 10 kids under 12 are using the family’s tablet
– In a 2012 study, kindergartners who used iPads for 9 weeks scored higher in every measure of literacy than the control group who didn’t use iPads.
– Teachers say iPads in the classroom: provide deeper engagement, raise motivation and can vary levels to match students’ specific needs.
– A study found a 27 percent increase in vocabulary after 5-year-olds used an educational app on iPad.
– They also found that the iPad is great for special education needs. There are more than 900 autism-related apps on the iPad. It can be set where the kids can’t get off the specific app and that is supposed to help them focus. Also kids can use the device to help communicate. Previous devices to help communicate would have cost around $15,000.
So what do you think? Is your kid using the family tablet? Would you get them their own? Is $150 the right price? Do you think tablets are useful in education? Do you view tablet time differently than regular computer time?