Tesco abandons the Hudl smartphone

Supermarket gives up on launching its own smartphone

Supermarket chain Tesco has ditched its plans to create its own smartphone, citing the competitive nature of the smartphone market for its decision.

The Hudl smartphone was only announced in May, with Tesco's Chief executive Philip Clarke telling the BBC that the phone would be comparable to the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Tesco had been keen on capitalising on the success of its budget Hudl tablet, which has sold more than half a million units. A new version of the Hudl tablet was also expected to launch later this year.

Every little helps? Maybe not

Plans for launching the Hudl smartphone have now been put on hold, perhaps indefinitely, according to Robin Terrell, Tesco's multichannel director.

In a statement reported by MarketingWeek, Terrell said that "[w]e were confident that we could offer customers something we saw was lacking in the mobile market: an affordable, quality 4G smartphone handset".

Since then, however, a slew of affordable 4G smartphones have been launched, including the EE Kestrel and the Moto G 4G, and even more have been announced recently at IFA 2014.

This increasingly crowded and competitive market has made Tesco think twice about its prospects there. Tesco's fortunes in its traditional market is also on the wane, so it makes sense for the new chief executive, Dave Lewis, to concentrate on its core business.

It's not clear at the moment if the Hudl 2 tablet will also be shelved, but if you were waiting for the Hudl smartphone to arrive to get a cheap 4G handset, don't worry, there are plenty of alternatives. Which was exactly Tesco's problem.