For two years, Fisher-Price’s designers and engineers have been keeping tabs on Apple Inc. and attending technology industry events like the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The result is the iXL, an iPad-like device for 3- to 6- year-olds that combines a photo album, electronic-book reader, music player, notebook, art studio and game player. Fisher-Price unveiled the $79.99 device to retailers this weekend at the Toy Fair in New York and to the public in July.
“Kids like to emulate what they see in the larger world and especially what they see older siblings or parents doing,” Sean McGowan, a toy industry analyst at Needham & Co. in New York, said in a telephone interview. “It’s very logical to say that kids see parents on iPods or Blackberrys and they’re going to want something like that.”