While the tablet and the smartphone are usually considered toys for adults, the industry understands that a virtually untapped market exists in putting out mobile devices specifically geared toward kids.
Last holiday season there were tablets for children like the Leappad, as well as a few lesser known devices to the same effect. This year, tablets geared toward children are increasing and becoming a little more high tech.
The newest device, the MG, is a pocket gaming device backed with an Android (News - Alert) OS and a reloadable credit card that allows parents to better control just how much money their kids are spending when downloading apps and games.
Toys R’ Us has released its own tablet designed for children and it too has an Android OS. And it appears that the two companies are going to be direct competitors this holiday season.
For its part, the MG will benefit from the fact that it is being sold through Amazon rather than a company that is better known for its toys than its digital equipment. The MG is currently on presale until November 4 and the PlayMG corporation is looking to drum up business by allowing people to save $20 if they partake of the preorder.
The MG is currently $149 and will rise to $169 once the pre-order time ends.
There are some real differences between the MG and the Toys R’ US Tabeo, one of which is that the MG resembles a smartphone more so than a tablet. The MG boasts a four-inch touchscreen that does indeed work on the Android operating system, so users can download more than 60,000 different apps and games.
The biggest difference in the MG, though, is that it is directly tied to a “digital wallet” allowing parents to load up a SpendSmart Mastercard. Parents can give their kids as much or as little money to buy games as they want, with peace of mind that their kid can never spend hundreds of dollars without the parents knowing.
"We spent a lot of time designing the MG concept and prototypes to determine what would be cool enough for young people to actually want to give back their parents' smartphones," said T. Scott Edwards, PlayMG Founding Partner. "They want something specifically designed for their generation that fits in their pocket, doesn't look at all childish, has expandable memory and gives them the most financial independence and play possible. We are excited to be able to deliver this 'wish list' of features, and are now working to get the word out to parents and the estimated 52 million 5- to 18-year-olds in the U.S. who don't currently own smartphones."
Edited by Braden Becker