Best Buy: Is This Move Dumb or Brilliant?

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In a risky move that pits it directly against companies like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) is planning to start selling its own in-house tablet at an aggressive price point. The Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android-based Insignia Flex will retail for between $239 and $259, Reuters said.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD and Google’s Nexus 7 start at $199, while Apple is expected to announce a smaller version of its ultra-successful iPad in the sub-$300 price range. The latest version of Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad starts at $499, a range similar to what Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced for its Surface tablet on Tuesday.

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According to Reuters, the Insignia Flex will start selling on November 11 and will be available only at Best Buy’s brick-and-mortar outlets and online store. It is likely to feature a dual-core 1GHz processor, a 9.7-inch screen, 10-hour battery life, and a camera for video conferencing. The retailer is not likely to stop carrying rival devices in its stores.

Best Buy’s in-house brand Insignia currently sells less expensive versions of electronics such as high-definition televisions and Blu-ray players.

The electronic retailer has struggled somewhat with its image lately. It appointed a new chief executive in August after a scandal involving his predecessor, an incident that also prompted the resignation of former chairman Richard Schulze. It also reported last month that it earned $33 million in the quarter ending August 4, down 87 percent from the previous year.

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