Aldi to Sell eReaders

EDIT: This post combines a number of posts about the discount grocery chain Aldi.

Do you want to know how to tell when a market niche has gone mainstream? Well, one sign is that the discount grocery store chain Aldi start carrying it.

According to ereader nieuws, Aldi stores in the Netherlands will soon be selling the ProMedia ereader for 229 euros. If the picture is correct then this ereader was made by Benq, and you can find it elsewhere in Europe for 260 to 330 euros.

This ereader has a touch screen, 2GB Flash, a microSD card slot, web browser, and supports Adobe DRM.

Aldi Launches the Medion LifeTab Android Tablet – $99, 7″ Screen, Dual-Core CPU

Having sold30016239_PIC-H_Dtrick_002 PCs, cameras, laptops, and even the occasional ebook reader, the German-born grocery store chain Aldi is no stranger to selling budget electronics. And today they are selling a tablet.

Would you like a budget tablet with your discount groceries?

I have just learned that the Medion LifeTab E7312, which had previously been launched in Aldi’s UK, Dutch, and German stores, is now available in the US with a retail price of $99. This tablet sports an unnamed dual-core CPU with a pair of cameras, a decent resolution screen, and otherwise eye-catching specs.

Like many other current budget tablets, the Medion LifeTab E7312 runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It has a 7″ screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600, a dual-core 1.4GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, Bluetooth, and Wifi.

medion lifetab

It also has a g-sensor, a single speaker on the back, 2 cameras (a VGA webcam and a 2MP rearcam), 8GB of storage, and a microSD card slot. Retail price is $99, and it’s in stores now.

It’s often difficult to prejudge a tablet just based on the specs, but I can tell you that hardly any tablets at the $99 price point have 2 cameras, and more than a few only have 4GB of storage. Just on those 2 points alone the Medion LifeTab E7312 comes out ahead.

But will the performance live up to the specs? I don’t know, but I can say that Aldi has a reputation for providing a good value for the price. I think there’s a good chance they’ll keep that reputation.

Medion LifeTab E7312

Aldi Launches a 79 Euro eReader in Belgium

billow aldi ereaderAldi is now carrying a budget ereader in its stores in Belgium. It doesn’t look like much, and frankly we don’t know much about it, but it does offer a new option for readers.

The Billow BK6031L has a 6″ E-ink screen with touchscreen and frontlight. It packs in 4GB internal storage and a microSD card slot, but there’s no mention anywhere online of Wifi, audio, or the actual screen resolution. So of course buyer beware.

Lesen.net is saying that there is no Wifi, and my gut says they’re probably right. If that is true then a reader is going to have to transfer ebooks over USB (both Epub and PDF are supported, including DRMed ebooks).

Some would say that this is beyond the skills of most ereader owners, and that they would be better off with the basic Kindle (which is 20 euros cheaper in Germany), but there have been any number of budget ereaders launched in Europe (especially in Germany) with similar limitations and they did well.

With a retailer that operates in as many countries as Aldi, I regularly read of its first offering of a product. But in the case this ereader from Billow, what we have here is at least the third ereader sold by Aldi. I know of a model with a 7″ LCD screen which was sold in Australia in 2012, and Aldi also sold a 6″ ereader in the Netherlands in 2010.

Aldi via lesen.net

Aldi Rebrands a Budget Onyx eReader in Belgium – 79 Euros

aldi belgium onyx ereader 1The European branches of Aldi have been slapping the Aldi brand on other company’s ereaders since 2010. Last year it was an unidentified model from an unknown Chinese company, but this year Aldi is going upscale.

Aldi Belgium is now listing an unnamed 6″ ereader for 79 euros. It’s going to be in stores next week, and comes with a case.

Based on the screen contents, the Aldi ereader shows every sign of being an Onyx model. It has a 6″ screen, frontlight, and touchscreen.The screen resolution is not mentioned, but the listing does say that it has 4GB internal storage and a microSD card slot. There’s also no mention of audio, and given the price I would not expect it.

If you get your hands on one, let me know what you find. I’m curious which Onyx model we’re looking at.

Aldi to Open eBookstore in Germany

Over the past six years the grocery store chain Aldi has released branded ereaders and tablets in the UK, Australia, Germany, and other countries.

Now it is getting into ebooks.

Starting on 20 October, Aldi will be selling ebooks in its home market of Germany through a new service called Aldi life eBooks. The service will offer a paltry million titles which can be read through a matching Android app.

aldi-ebook

There’s no mention by Aldi of an app for iPhone or iPad, but the announcement does say that you can read on a PC. (Several German sites say there will be an iOS app, but it’s not clear whether that is true or an assumption.)

Aldi will be bundling the new app with an Android tablet which launches next Thursday. The Medion E6912 E-Tab is a 7″ tablet which cost 129 euros and runs Android 6.0 on a quad-core CPU with 1GB RAM. It will be carried by both parts of Aldi (Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud) and will come with a 10 euro credit for Aldi Live eBooks.

Aldi is getting into ebooks rather late, but this venture is less about ebooks for their own sake than a more general move into digital content and services. Also also offers prepaid phone cards under the Aldi Talk brand, and it has a streaming music service: Aldi life Musik.

In a way, Aldi is copying Tesco’s failed attempt to launch a digital content sub, Blinkbox. That effort included ebooks, videos, and music, but it shut down last year after it was sold off for parts and the ebook customers were handed off to Kobo.

It would be easy to assume that Aldi’s venture into digital is as doomed as Tesco’s, but it’s worth remembering that Tesco spent a lot of money buying and building Blinkbox and then shut it down when the company did not provide the expected return. We have no similar evidence that Aldi hs made a similar investment in a money-losing property.

Aldi Opens eBookstore in Austria

Last October the discount retailer Aldi launched an ebookstore and digital music store in Germany. Now it has brought the same service to Austria under Aldi’s Hofer brand.

Hofer Life features a music service supported by Napster and an ebook service supplied by an unnamed company.

The Hofer Life eBooks app has not been released yet, but we do know that the  Aldi Life eBooks app was developed the by Lenovo subsidiary Medion.

Local reports say that Hofer Life eBooks offers over a million ebook titles, including 400,000 German language titles. All the major publishers are on board, including comic book publishers DC and Marvel.

Hofer Life eBooks will have Android and iOS apps, and in the hardware department, Hofer is complimenting the ebookstore with a matching Android tablet. Launching tomorrow, the

Launching tomorrow, the Medion E6912 E-Tab is a 99 euro table with a 7″ screen. It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow on a 1.3GHz quad-core CPU with 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage.

This tablet also has  3Ah battery, a microSD card slot, Wifi, and a SIM card slot for cellular connectivity. It comes bundled with a 10 euro credit for Hofer Life eBooks and a 60-day ps the music streaming app Hofer Life Music.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

3 Comments

  1. […] by Aldi. I know of a model with a 7" LCD screen which was sold in Australia in 2012, and Aldi also sold a 6" ereader in the Netherlands in […]

    Reply
  2. […] European branches of Aldi have been slapping the Aldi brand on other company's ereaders since 2010. Last year it was an unidentified model from an unknown Chinese company, but this year Aldi is […]

    Reply
  3. […] European branches of Aldi have been slapping the Aldi brand on other company's ereaders since 2010. Last year it was an unidentified model from an unknown Chinese company, but this year Aldi is […]

    Reply

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