Perhaps it’s fitting that a company best known for televisions would become the first Android tablet maker to offer Hulu Plus. Vizio’s 8-inch Android tablet made its debut last week and the company announced Wednesday that buyers will become the first Android tablet owners to enjoy support for the service.
Hulu Plus, the premium version of Hulu that offers access to more shows and movies, works on Apple’s iPad and iPhone, but was only supported for about 10 Android phones, as opposed to any of the Android tablets that have launched this year. Tablets would seem to provide a more-natural experience for watching videos, of course, so it’s not surprising that Hulu would eventually get around to the Android world despite the anemic sales of Android tablets.
What’s interesting about this particular partnership, however, is that the Vizio tablet is only running Android 2.3, as opposed to the 3.0 version that was designed specifically for tablets but has not sold well at all. Perhaps Hulu is waiting for the next version of Android, code-named Ice Cream Sandwich, before plunging in with support for tablets like the Motorola (NYSE: MMI) Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab, which have received far heavier promotion from retailers like Best Buy.
Vizio is also trying the bargain-basement approach with its tablet, which has a starting price of $299. The amazing response to the heavily discounted TouchPad over the past week has caused some to wonder if there is indeed a market for low-cost tablets, but it’s not easy at the moment to make any money on a tablet that costs around under $500.