Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

Summary: Motorola dished out financial results this week, and admitted that it had only shipped (not sold) 440,000 XOOMs in Q2. That poor performance was in large part due to a terrible launch.

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Motorola was in an enviable position early this year: rocking its popular Droid phones on the Verizon network and preparing to launch the first Android Honeycomb tablet. The XOOM tablet would not only be first but was being launched in partnership with Verizon. It would be the flagship Honeycomb tablet, meaning Google would throw all of its weight behind making sure Android updates would be flowing like honey. Motorola dished out financial results this week, and admitted that it had shipped (not sold) only 440,000 XOOMs in the second quarter.

ZDNet's Rachel King has all the details of the Motorola financial results, so I won't rehash those here. To tell the truth I can't stop focussing on that 440,000 XOOMs shipped number. In the hot tablet segment where Apple is selling all the iPads it can make, why did Motorola ship so few of its tablet?

In a word, okay two words, poor execution. The XOOM launch fell short for a number of reasons, primarily Motorola's fault but Google and Verizon have to claim some of the responsibility. Prior to the launch of the XOOM Motorola was yelling from the treetops that it would beat the iPad in a number of areas.

First, the XOOM would blow past the iPad due to fully supporting Flash. It would be the first tablet on the market with the real web due to Flash, something the iPad could not and would not do. The problem was that at launch the Flash software wasn't ready yet, and the XOOM could not do Flash at all. It took an update much later for the XOOM to get the Flash support promised in early promotions.

Second, Honeycomb was as buggy as could be, and reviewers trounced the XOOM for crashing and poor performance. Google has to bear the blame for that, as the XOOM was running stock Honeycomb software at launch. It just didn't work well, and the XOOM bore the brunt of that.

Third, Motorola promoted the heck out of the inclusion of a memory card reader on the XOOM, something the iPad lacked. Tablet owners could augment the device memory with standard memory cards and have essentially limitless memory. Unfortunately, Motorola had a difficult time getting this feature to work, and it was a dead component at launch. It took months for Motorola to get this working, leaving the company with a lot of egg on its face.

Fourth, the Verizon promotion of the XOOM was bizarre and obviously didn't help sell the tablet on its network. The ad campaign sent a confusing message to Verizon customers without demonstrating why they should buy the XOOM. Both Verizon and Motorola talked up the future ability of the XOOM to access the speedy Verizon 4G LTE network, which would be possible with a free hardware upgrade coming soon. XOOM owners are still waiting for this upgrade which hasn't appeared yet. It is now expected in September, months after the XOOM hit the market. Competitor Samsung just released a Honeycomb tablet with LTE support, making it to market before Motorola with the flagship XOOM tablet.

Motorola says it expects to ship between 1.3 - 1.5 million tablets this year, a promise that may come back to haunt the company. Its Droid smartphone line has been popular with Verizon customers and others, but having totally fumbled the XOOM launch it's not clear Motorola knows how to sell tablets. Verizon hasn't shown it can sell tablets either, so if Motorola is depending on Big Red it may be in for continued failure with tablets.

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Topics: Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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  • RE: Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

    440K shipped and may be only 4 sold to customers... Hope they did not return their XOOOOOOM
    browser.
    • Do you base your purchases on how many sell?

      Just wondering.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

        @goff256 Yes, I do base my purchase [of their stock] based on how many they sell and not *ship*... Go Figure
        browser.
      • So you base what you use and like

        on what others use and like?

        Don't you have an opinion of your own?
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

        @goff256 Are you really that stupid or you behave as one? I said I base my purchase of their stock and not the phones
        browser.
      • How am I the stupid one?

        You're the one who made it seem like how many they sell as being a relevant thing to the tablet itself. As for motorola stock, it is based on more than ONE SIMPLE TABLET.
        Michael Alan Goff
  • RE: Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

    Okay so 660k total... This explains why they're not on store shelves these days...

    As for Apple, they're not selling all they can make, go look at retail store shelves they are sitting there as well.
    slickjim
    • RE: Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

      @Peter Perry If you add up the iPad and iPad2 sales and compared it to the sales of EVERY OTHER NON iPad tablet combined, I wonder who would win that?

      As of June Apple was at about, I don't know 25 million. So yea they might have some iPads on the shelves, but only because most people who wanted one already has one.
      Bates_
      • Apple now sells **million** iPads per week

        @Bates_: iPad's cumulative sales grew from 26 to 29,5 million from June 6 to June 25 (end of Apple's financial quarter).

        And Apple said that iPad's supplies improved further in July.
        DDERSSS
      • RE: Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

        @Bates_
        iPads sits on shelves so customers can buy them!

        And yes Apple steam rolled every one else in tablet competition. The same as in (high end) smartfones. But still tablets are growing segment, and should improve even more, and more, thus bringing more customers.

        Tablets war will be hot this year, but not decisive.
        przemoli
    • All you have left is lies.

      @Peter Perry

      7 months on Android tablets in the supply chain VS 3-5 weeks. Huge difference.
      Bruizer
      • RE: Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

        @Bruizer Go to the store... They're sitting there in large quantities! I'll take a picture next time I'm at the store...

        Also, look it up, Apple didn't post sold numbers they also posted shipped numbers so stuff that up yer brown eye!

        The only one lying here is you!
        slickjim
      • @Peter Perry: 3-5 weeks supply chain compared to 7 months.

        Apple has stated they have caught up on demand but only have 3-5 weeks of supply in the supply chain. So you can buy them off the shelf after 6 months. So what. The difference is the iPad boxes you take a picture of today will be different iPad boxes 2 weeks from now.

        If you take the pictures of the loser Android tablet boxes today and 2 months from now, they will be the same boxes.

        Simple concept. Only Apple haters and/or Google worshipers are buying Android tablets. The huge number of people getting the decent, but cheap, Android phones (like the Optimus S) simply are not going for tablets.
        Bruizer
      • RE: Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

        @Bruizer Okay so Apple sold 3.5 Million Tablets in 3 weeks according to DeRss... He seems to work for them...

        Anyway, what you and Apple are then saying is that 3 to 5 Million I pads are in the Channels... So Apple technically only sold between 4 and 6 Million? This isn't bad and I'm certainly not saying it is but it is still the fact that they were shipped and counted as sold.

        Anyway, The bottom line is that Apple just like Motorola is reporting Shipped numbers but they call theirs sold.
        slickjim
    • RE: Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

      @Peter Perry

      It interesting that Apple appears to be selling more of its hobby - the AppleTV - than Motorola sells Xooms per quarter.

      Full disclosure: I own small amounts of stock in both Apple and Motorola.
      msalzberg
  • RE: Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

    And while I m at it James why is it that Apples numbers cleary said Shipped and not sold but you touted them as sold and yet don't do the same for other competitors?
    slickjim
    • RE: Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

      @Peter Perry You insist on putting your spin on everything posted. Here is a quote from Apple's Q3 statement:
      "Apple sold 9.25 million iPads during the quarter, a 183 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter."

      Check it out for yourself:
      http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/07/19Apple-Reports-Third-Quarter-Results.html
      JamesKendrick
      • RE: Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

        @JamesKendrick

        Claiming that black is white is not spin. Stating that " Apples numbers cleary said Shipped and not sold" when they said just the opposite is not spin.

        It's a lie.

        Fortunately posts full of lies don't get deleted, so we can all laugh at him, and use this post and the lie it contains (which he's posted before) to judge his credibility.
        msalzberg
      • Sold to customers or their retail stores?

        @JamesKendrick <br><br>I know it sounds like splitting hairs, but a valid question, depending how the Apple retail chain actually works.<br>We're assuming that they operate differently then other retail outfits that buy products from manufacturers, then in turn mark them up for a profit.
        William Farrell
      • RE: Motorola ships only 440K XOOM tablets, promises to do better

        @William Farrell

        Since they own the stores, they don't sell to them. They remain in Apple's inventory until sold to customers.
        msalzberg