Just for the record: an $800 price tag on the Motorola Xoom - the first tablet PC running Android 3 (aka Honeycomb) - is way too high.
Details are leaking out today, via a post on Engadget, that Best Buy will start selling the Xoom on Feb. 24 for $799.99. And it appears that there will be some tiered pricing on Verizon's 3G data plans for the device, ranging from $20 per month for up to 1 GB of data to $80 per month for up to 100 gigs. Mind you, there's no mention of the pricing for the 4G data usage on this device, which will be 4G upgradeable.
In a post after Google's Honeycomb preview event last week, I noted that the Xoom - or any Honeycomb-powered tablet, for that matter - could be a serious contender to Apple's iPad if the experience is just as good as the iPad's. But I also noted that pricing would be key. If it can beat the iPad on price, consumers who like what they see in Android may be compelled to choose Honeycomb over iPad. If the price comes in too high, consumers might not be willing to buy into the hype, choosing instead to go with an established winner - the iPad.
The $800 price tag on the Best Buy ad is $300 more than Apple's $500 WiFi -only low-end iPad. Make it a 3G-powered iPad and you're looking at $629 - still a $170 cheaper than the Xoom.
Can you say D.O.A?
That's what the Xoom will be - Dead On Arrival - if it's really priced that high. Granted, we don't know that to be true. There doesn't seem to be any confirmation yet from Motorola, Google or Verizon - the big names that all appeared on the Xoom's debut ad during the Super Bowl. (By the way, the commercial, which I've embedded below, left everyone at my Super Bowl party with a head-scratching "huh?" as we watched. Kind of a deep message for a Super Bowl ad, if you ask me.)
For the record, I like what the Xoom brings to the table. It appears - just from what I know - to be a top-notch product with a lot of potential. Add to it the 4G capabilities, the expandable storage and, yeah, even Flash, and you've got a product that can really make potential iPad buyers stop and pause.
But none of that will matter when all is said and done because that price tag will likely send some consumers - myself included - straight for the Apple store before anyone can even say "microSD card."
As soon as we get official word on pricing and availability, we'll be sharing the details with you.