Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

Summary: Motorola Mobility confirmed the tech industry's worst-kept secret: The Xoom tablet with 32GB of storage and 4G capable will run you $800 unsubsidized. A Wi-Fi only version will run you about $600.

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TOPICS: iPad, Mobility, Wi-Fi
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Motorola Mobility confirmed the tech industry's worst-kept secret: The Xoom tablet with 32GB of storage and 4G capable will run you $800 unsubsidized. A Wi-Fi only version will run you about $600.

This disclosure by Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha, speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, has sparked debate. My initial reaction is that the price is too high and that Motorola Mobility may have to come down. However, Jha has a different case. Let's hear the man out.

Also: Motorola Xoom pre-sale 'confirmed' for Feb. 20, Atrix 4G on Feb. 22

In defense of the $800 price tag for a Wi-Fi 3G-4G version, Motorola Mobility thinks it can fetch $800 because:

  • The Xoom has a free upgrade to Verizon Wireless' LTE network (a big plus in my opinion).
  • The Xoom at 32GB is only $70 more expensive than the current 32GB iPad.
  • The hardware is competitive with the iPad.

The Wi-Fi only version will be right around the $599 price set by the 32GB iPad.

My take: Jha has a point about 4G and that is a big selling point for the Xoom. Motorola Mobility will be among the first tablet makers to offer speed and downloads at 50Mbps.

The other key decision here revolves around your faith in Honeycomb Android. The demonstrations for Honeycomb look swell, but the operating system is still an unknown commodity in the field. Meanwhile, there's a mental hurdle. I continue to believe that Android should price at a discount to the iPad.

Meanwhile, it's possible that the next iPad will have a 32GB Wi-Fi version at $499.

And other bet with the Xoom: To believe that Motorola Mobility can hold its pricing you have to assume that consumers will be discerning. That's no sure bet. Bottom line: The Xoom at 32GB will be compared to the 16GB iPad at $499 initially.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Doug Reid said:

We remain confident Motorola Mobility will drive strong initial adoption of Xoom (at $799 unsubsidized) based as a first-to-market, 4G-upgradable (important) Android 3.0 product. We expect Motorola Mobility to launch lower price-point devices over the next 3-9 months and drive margin expansion.

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Topics: iPad, Mobility, Wi-Fi

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42 comments
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  • The slowest selling iPad are the expensive ones.

    Most get the 16GB WiFi only model followed by the 32GB WiFi then the 32GB 3G.
    Bruizer
  • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

    [i]# The Xoom at 32GB is only $70 more expensive than the current 32GB iPad.
    # The hardware is competitive with the iPad.[/i]

    While it remains to be seen... the fact that it IS more expensive than the iPad, and is only "competitive" and not far and away better than the iPad... seems like the thing is DOA.
    Badgered
    • Well, if you look at the dual-core, the graphics, the ports, it really is

      head and shoulders better than the iPad. I think that Honeycomb is a better OS, but, understand that many might prefer iOS.
      DonnieBoy
      • You mean the one yr old model...

        @DonnieBoy that will be retired or drop significantly in price n the next few weeks? that one? Lol..
        doctorSpoc
      • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

        @DonnieBoy

        True. Technically it's superior and one year newer. Let's just see next month what iPad v2 offers?
        ShamooToo
      • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

        @DonnieBoy

        This was Motorola's comment.... "# The hardware is competitive with the iPad."

        It may very well be better. But if the company promoting only feels it's "competitive", that is a problem.
        Badgered
      • Do you not claim that better is based on sales?

        @DonnieBoy
        As the iPad will continue to outsell Xoom, one must then conclude that the superior tablet is the iPad.
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

        @DonnieBoy You mean those items that the average consumer (the ones buying these devices) aren't going to give a rat's you know what about?
        non-biased
    • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

      @Badgered

      Also, what Verizon is pushing as 4G LTE isn't really there yet and is really just more of the unified transition from CDMA. It will get there, but not a really compelling selling point for the main focus of tablet sales. AT&T's 3G (really 3.5G HSPA+) is offering fast enough speed for now. When 4G is standard (and/or really 4G) it may make a more compelling point as no one wants the old stuff. The cutting edge stuff does bleed a bit though, so despite marketing most aware consumers won't care. The non-aware ones won't either as they mostly don't see the need for it. Though it'll change. Not at this time.
      ShamooToo
      • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

        @Angrypug Yea Verizon has LTE almost nowhere. And they are pushing devices that support something that isnt there.
        Jimster480
    • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

      @Badgered I dont think its DOA. But I dont think it will sell like it should of if the pricing was better.
      Jimster480
      • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

        OMG, everyone mark your calendars, I agree completely with Jimster480 ;-)
        non-biased
  • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

    If they are serious with their Wifi only pricing then they have just lost another potential customer to the iPad. Very sad considering I was really hoping to jump on the Xoom bandwagon. Especially considering I just pre-ordered a Motorola Atrix to replace my iPhone 3G.
    mnwild1
    • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

      @mnwild1
      The wifi version is going to take a while to get out the door for some reason and I don't believe they have set a date.
      I think they should have got the cheaper wifi version out first. I just don't think the vast majority of people want another subscription.
      Also, the whole thing with having to set up a Verizon data plan even though you can cancel it and not pay is just another dumb telco maneuver. NO ONE wants to be bothered with that stuff.
      Synthmeister
  • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

    Just the fact that they're discussing 4G when the best selling iPad is wifi only is proof that these guys still don't get it. 4G is not even fully rolled out yet and wont be for some time. Apple already control the market, they can simply lower the cost on version 2 and wipe away all competition if they so choose. <br><br>But I don't think they will yet, the competition is already killing themselves with insane prices and being tied to carriers. Does it have an IPS display with 180 viewable angle? Where is the equivalent to iWorks for the Xoom? Does it have specialized apps? Where are the developers? The thousands of cool games? Will there be tons of accessories and after market products? Will there be any accessories? Then why should I pay more? These are questions consumers will be asking.
    dave95.
    • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

      @dave95.
      Exactly. Note how the first iPad out the door was wifi only.
      Note how Apple got the iPad in China in a few months? Without telcos.
      Note how multiple tablet markets don't want or need wifi.
      Note how Apple designed Facetime to completely bypass the telcos.
      The Android OEMs should be making their slates as independent of the telcos as possible.
      Synthmeister
    • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

      @dave95. They probably won't just yet but I think it would be a cut throat move to utilize their buying power and drop the price of all iPad 2 versus by $100 from the current price. The competition is having a hard enough time competing on price, this move could all but guarantee they own the market for at least another year or so. $500 is a tough threshold to cross in this current economy for many consumers. I suspect the 16GB, WiFi only iPad 2 would far surpass the same version iPad 1 if it were $399.
      non-biased
  • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

    A tablet could be useful to a person like myself. I am in courtrooms and conferences rooms throughout the week. Sometimes I want to share documents or read documents without either firing up my laptop or printing something out.

    Would I pay $600 for such a device? Absolutely not. I can get a cheap Android tablet for around $250. Why would I pay more for a tablet than I would for a high powered laptop?

    I understand the justification but I don't know the demographic Moto is trying to reach. In theory, I'm the demographic Moto should be reaching out to (young, professional, some disposable income). Yet, I can tell you that this tablet might as well be DOA. I'd buy an iPad before the Xoom.
    retnep
    • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

      @retnep <br>You lost me....<br>Xoom and iPad for the same wifi and mem are basically the same price.<br>So why would you buy the iPad?<br>It's not any cheaper and from a hardware perspective is lags the Xoom (iPad v2 tbd).<br>Currently owning an iPad, I am looking forward to a wifi Android.<br><br><img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink">
      rhonin
      • RE: Motorola Mobility's Xoom pricing: Does it have a case?

        @zenwalker
        I can get the cheapest iPad for about a hundred dollars cheaper than the Xoom. In terms of features, the iPad provides plenty for me (and many of my colleagues) to get the job done. In fact, a rooted Nook (at $250)provides enough for me to get the job done.

        What I need is access to my email (most courthouses that I'm at have poor cell reception but excellent wifi), access to documents, and access to my calendar. A rooted Nook (and plenty of other cheap Android tablets) can handle ereaders and video just fine.

        If I need the processing power of a dual core, I'm probably better off pulling out my netbook. $250 Nook + $300-$350 netbook/laptop > Xoom, imo.
        retnep