Tab: TCL Debuts a New Tablet

Image: TCL.

Tab: TCL Debuts a New Tablet

Could it crack into the American market and fight Apple for a slice of the market?

TCL this week announced the launch of the TCL Tab, a new tablet being brought out in collaboration with Verizon.

While mostly associated with TVs, TCL has been releasing products in the United States in other categories, including the TCL Pro smartphone, which arrived in the spring. Now, the TCL Mobile devision has also brought out a tablet, as part of a collaboration with Verizon.

The TCL Tab weighs 11.5 ounces and comes with 4G LTE capability. It also offers an eight-inch Full HD+ display and comes with Android 10 pre-installed. The device, which does not come in a WiFi-only version, is available now and retails at $199.99, in Suede Black color.

“There has been a large increase in demand for affordable tablets capable of supporting in-home initiatives for learning and working, while also keeping the entire family entertained and connected,” Eric Anderson, Senior Vice President of TCL Communication, North America, said in the announcement.

“With the TCL TAB, we have engaged with Verizon to create an Android tablet that will provide family households with the network and tools necessary for both a productive and entertaining mobile experience.”

Android tablets have been around since 2009, even before the debut of the iPad in 2010, but most of the early ones, such as the Verizon-exclusive Motorola Xoom, failed to displace Apple’s tablet. Eventually, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Amazon’s Kindle Fire emerged as the main challengers to Apple in the category, although the competition has never been especially close.

As of last month, per Statcounter, Apple held nearly two thirds of the North American market share in the tablet category, with Amazon and Samsung second and third, each with just over 13 percent of the market. This was roughly even with where those numbers had been for much of the last year.

Beta News describes the TCL Tab as a “spiritual successor to the Nexus 7,” which it describes as “undoubtedly the greatest Android tablet of all time.” The Nexus 7, which Google developed along with Asus, released two generations but was discontinued in 2015.

Along with its new mobile endeavors, TCL continues to release well-received TVs, mostly with the Roku TV interface, although the company has started to put out lower-end models with Android TV.

Trendforce said this week that a record number of TVs were shipped in the third quarter of 2020, and that TCL moved 7.33 million units, representing a 29 percent increase quarter over quarter and a 52.7 jump year over year. That was good for third worldwide, behind only Samsung and LG, both of which are more established as global TV brands.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: TCL.