Buyers Stampede Kmart’s $150 Android Tablet PC

MULTIPLE CITIES: Kmart had a run on a new tablet PC powered by Google’s Android operating system when it knocked a mere $20 off the price. The big-box discount retailer offered the Augen Gentouch78 for $150, leading to shortages.

“On July 25th Kmart had unexpected phenomenal response to the Augen 7-inch tablet, which runs on the Android OS,” Kmart’s blog said. “This product that was featured in the Kmart circular for $149.99 and has currently sold out. Eager customers who found shortages of the tablet were offered ‘rain checks’ through July 31st to ensure they could secure the Augen tablet at the advertised price at a later date.”

The Gentouch78, from Hollywood, Fla.-based Augen, features a 7-inch touch screen with 800-pixel resolution and a 2 GB memory expandable to 16 GB. It runs on Android 2.1, which supports Flash media as opposed to Apple’s iPad. The iPad’s incompatibility with Flash has become one of the main complaints about the device, which sells for between $500 (16 GB) to $829 (64 GB) and has a 9.7-inch screen.

One caveat to the bargain Augen--it’s using Android on an open-source basis and got called on preloading Google’s Mobile Service suite. The company told Engadget Google would allow the software to remain on those devices in the market, but that future models would have to be stripped of it. The preloaded models remains available at

News broke last week that Verizon and Motorola were working together on an Android-powered tablet computer that would link to Verizon’s FiOS TV. (See “Details Emerge on Verizon’s Android FiOS TV Tablet.”)

Apple’s iPad became immediately popular with broadcasters following its April 3 introduction into the market. The devices were used by some to replace paper scripts, while others developed content-related apps. Broadcast equipment vendors got into the game as well. Broadcast Pix developed a remote-control app for its switchers, and more recently, Associated Press launched an ENPS app for use with iPads and Android-powered tablets.

May 3, 2010
: “iPad TV Apps Multiply”
More than 12 million apps have been downloaded since the table computers hit the streets. ABC reported 205,000 downloads of its app within 10 days of release.

April 28, 2010Michigan Station Launches Native iPad News app
Unlike some other station apps for the computer tablet, WWTV’s isn’t merely an extended version of one designed for iPhones.

April 12, 2010: “Beat the Traffic Adds Touch and Mobile Capability
Beat the Traffic is taking multiple routes onto mobile platforms with specialized apps for iPhones and Blackberries, and one on deck for the new Apple iPad.

April 5, 2010: Google Moves to Challenge Hulu, Which Queues Up for iPad
Google is boosting the commercial quotient of its online video business in the direction of, while that site is claiming its first profit and eyeing an iPad presence.

March 3, 2010: “App Gives iPad Control of Broadcast Pix Switchers
The iPixelPanel will be available for download from Apple’s App Store for $195 in April.