With some e-reader and tablet manufacturers apparently feeling the strain, and other brands pushing hard to corner more of the increasingly commoditized market in smaller generic tablet devices, Budapest showcases one example of a regional device maker trying to build itself some brand equity and move up the value chain, closer to the dizzy heights of an Apple Store. Hungarian tablet, smartphone and mobile device manufacturer MyAudio has opened its MyAudio Arena on central Budapest’s hip Király Street, showing off its product range in fine style.
The MyAudio Tablet Series 7 range is probably the most suitable for e-reading, with the customary 7-inch screen size. These are not necessarily the highest-specced devices on the market, with the latest MyAudio Series 7 708DCC tablet having only an 800 x 480 pixel screen, but the device does run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, with a 1.6 GHz dual-core chip and an external mini-HDMI port, as well as Play Store access, all for 29,900 Hungarian forints (€101.81, $136.22).
MyAudio’s dedicated e-readers include the MediaBook e-reader, with a 7-inch TFT screen, 4GB of memory, miniSD card slot, and full audio support, available for 16,900 forints. Other products include a range of tablets of various screen sizes and capabilities, smartphones, TV sticks, and media players.
According to Hungarian media, MyAudio is fully Hungarian-owned and has been operating since 2006, focusing initially on MP3 players, but expanding recently into the tablet and smartphone space, with many products distributed via the region’s leading retail chains—Tesco, Auchan, etc.
Since 2011, MyAudio has also distributed in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, and as of 2012, it claims a turnover of over 2 billion Hungarian forints (€6.8 million, $9.12 million) per annum.
Still, the MyAudio Arena faces stiff competition, almost on its doorstep. The 7-inch screen Acer Iconia Tab B1 and Asus MeMo Pad ME172v are both available for only 39,999 forints (€136.20, $182.23) locally, with the Kindle 5 on special offer for only 29,899 forints (€101.81, 138.22). Meanwhile, Apple premium reseller iSTYLE operates its own high-end outlet on swank Andrássy Avenue just a few streets away.