INTERVIEW: Gilles Sautier, VTech

Billy Langsworthy talks to VTech’s European CEO Gilles Sautier about the new InnoTab 3 and 3S, devices the company believes will be top sellers this Christmas
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What are the main features of the InnoTab 3 & 3S and how is it different from previous versions of the device?

The InnoTab 3S (RSP £99.99) is a next generation multi-media tablet and the latest innovation from the InnoTab series. Building on the success of InnoTab2, InnoTab 3S boasts a higher spec 2 mega pixel rotatable camera, increased internal memory and new D-pad functionality for added gameplay support. The InnoTab 3S comes with 17 applications, a five-inch LCD touch screen and a rechargeable battery pack.

On top of this we are proud to announce some exciting wifi developments that allow children to download e-books, games, photos, videos and music wirelessly, as well as exploring the Kid Safe Web Browser. A exclusive communication app called Kid Connect allows kids to send photos, pictures, voice recordings to parents and friends through both tablet-to-mobile and tablet-to-tablet.

The InnoTab 3 features a 4.3-inch LCD touch screen, two mega pixel rotatable camera and D-pad, as well as 15 applications for RSP £69.99. It is compact and also connects to VTech’s Learning Lodge to download extra apps, games, videos and a plethora of content.

Are there any key elements from previous devices that remain an important aspect of this latest InnoTab?

The expandable memory micro SD card slot remains an important asset of the InnoTab 3S and InnoTab 3. It allows users to increase the storage to up to 32 GB. The functionality of the rotatable camera from the Kidizoom range continues to be an integral part, with an enhanced two mega pixel camera.

The durability of our products is something that continues to be a key element of the InnoTab 3S and InnoTab 3. When people think of VTech, they think of excellent quality standards with long lasting, safe play with specially tailored educational values to develop young minds.

What’s more, we are pleased to share that all InnoTab cartridges are compatible with both the InnoTab 3S and InnoTab3.

Did you use feedback from consumers and parents when creating the new devices?

We listened to consumer feedback surrounding the battery life and have included a rechargeable battery pack within the 3S.

We received impressive sales surrounding the InnoTab cartridges and will therefore be introducing some exciting new licences from popular characters such as Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins and much loved UK characters.

What sales expectations do you have?

We expect the InnoTab 3S and InnoTab 3 to be top selling toys for Christmas.

These new tablets are under £100 and capture a wide range of consumer budgets; therefore we expect to see even stronger sales in 2013 compared to the success of 2012.

The original InnoTab and InnoTab 2 have been the top sellers of the year in the last few years. How confident are you that the InnoTab can be a best selling toy for the third year running?

We have a great track record with best selling ranges, just look at the award winning Kidizoom range which has been present in the top ten toys in the industry since 2008, and the hugely successful V.Smile range.

Nearly a year since its launch, InnoTab 2 is still selling strong and is currently topping the charts for the top selling tablet in July.

What marketing do you have in place?

InnoTab 3/3S is our highest spend this year and will be our lead campaign. Within the Christmas TV space, VTech will reach around 75 per cent of mums and 88 per cent of children with an integrated 360 marketing campaign from press to pre-roll.

Is there still a demand for these devices?

Electronic learning is a large and growing area within the whole toy market and VTech are pleased to be driving this growth.

VTech products have consistently appeared in the top ten of all toys for the few years, which shows how important they are and continue to be.

More iPads are being handed down to children from parents that have the latest versions. Are you worried about this potentially being a threat to the InnoTab 3S/3?

Children naturally want to emulate their parents and VTech specialise in bringing this type of technology to children. The durability of our toys is second to none and specifically designed for children. This includes tailored content to help children learn and have fun.

With the launch of Kid Connect and Kid Safe Browser children can connect with their parents and to their parent’s tablets in a way that they have never been able to before.

What would you most like to have achieved with the InnoTab 3S/3 by the end of the year?

We expect InnoTab 3S and InnoTab 3 to be top selling toys for Christmas, growing the category and essentially to maintain our position as Europe’s top selling toy.

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