Print 54 comment(s) - last by AlterEcho.. on Apr 30 at 9:06 PM

New Android tablets put even more pressure on failing tablet

While Google Inc. (GOOG) has a credible record when it comes to mobile operating systems -- having made the booming Android operating system -- its track record when it comes to flagship hardware is decidedly more mixed.  

Every major OS release Google designates a "flagship" hardware model.  For example Android "Eclair" 2.1 was fronted by the Nexus One.  For Android "Honeycomb" 3.0 -- Google's new tablet-specific Android distribution -- that flagship model was the Xoom.

The Xoom has been billed in the media as a promising, but unpolished product.

Set at a lofty price of $599, it has failed to compete not only with thinner, lighter iPad 2 from Apple, Inc. (AAPL), but also cheaper Android tablets.  Yet another sales analysis has landed and the picture sure isn't pretty.

The Nexus One wasn’t a sales blockbuster, and according to some estimates, the Motorola Xoom may be doing even worse.

Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdry claims that Motorola (MMI) is sitting on an enormous overstock of Xooms.  According to his estimates, the company produced between 500,000 to 800,000 units, but has only sold between 5 to 15 percent of them.

That estimate means that the best-case scenario is that the Xoom has moved an anemic 120,000 units in the two months since its release.  And the worst-case scenario is simply crushing -- that only 25,000 Xooms have been sold.

And it may only get worse.  South Korea's LG Electronics is preparing to release its G-Slate tablet, priced at $529 USD.  And in June two new Galaxy Tab models from Samsung Electronics (005930) land at under $469 and $499.  And that's not to mention Dell's Streak refresh and other coming products.

Even more troubling for Motorola is the fact that ASUS today launched its Eee Pad Transformer Honeycomb tablet that is priced at $400 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model and $500 for a 32GB Wi-Fi model.

In short the outlook for Xoom isn’t very promising.  The fact that analysts once estimated that the device would sell 3 to 5 million units makes its sales even more embarrassing.

The tablet is boldly venturing into waters of commercial disappointment seldom sailed before.  Its flop may only look graceful in light of the ultra low bar that Microsoft's infamous Kin project set for a mobile failure.  But that's not saying much. 

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Asus Transformer....
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/26/2011 9:47:04 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of these sites do not even have the Asus listed as being for sale....

RE: Asus Transformer....
By Brandon Hill on 4/26/2011 9:53:00 AM , Rating: 4
Many sold out earlier today. Sites like Amazon and Walmart had 'em in stock earlier this morning, but they sold out in minutes. I've been following this thread which is full of Transformer fanboys:

RE: Asus Transformer....
By therealnickdanger on 4/26/2011 10:26:25 AM , Rating: 2
This makes me happy! A properly priced mainstream Android tablet will be a force to be reckoned with. Now it's only a matter of time before we see $299 tablets... by the end of 2011, I'll bet.

(I'm aware of the Chinese knockoffs you can get for $150 - I'm referring to big players like ASUS, Samsung, LG, etc.)

RE: Asus Transformer....
By Tony Swash on 4/26/11, Rating: 0
RE: Asus Transformer....
By Smartless on 4/26/2011 10:59:07 PM , Rating: 5
You know no ones going to argue with you because basically all your points are essentially correct but man, why you gotta be such a Debbie Downer.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By rburnham on 4/28/2011 5:17:38 PM , Rating: 2
I know. Good grief.

I will give Apple credit on the apps. Google dropped the ball when they failed to let developers have early access to the SDK for 3.0, or so I have read.

What's funny is that almost any tech site or magazine I have read (which is a lot) consider the Xoom a great product in and of itself, especially in terms of long-term flexibility and usability. Sadly, the Xoom does not exist in a vacuum, and the iPad is just too popular.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By jvillaro on 4/26/2011 11:24:40 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Asus Transformer....
By AlterEcho on 4/30/2011 9:02:28 PM , Rating: 2
The point being that Apple's share is being eroded. People are voting with their wallets and the sweet spot appears to be around $299.00. It seems that Asus has figured this out while Dell and Apple have not. The sales figures for the Eee pad are stunning considering the lack of advertising. Newegg was cleaned out in less than a day.
My son bought an iPad. I would not, because I could not see laying down that amount of money for a giant iPod. I did have an iPhone until my contract ended. I moved to a Droid-X because of Apple's horrible hardware update-baiting. So, I am no Apple hater nor lover. But even I see the writing on the wall. If other manufacturers follow Asus, with a reasonable price, Apple will be seeing a strong shift in the marketplace. Perfect example is the smartphone market where price and features are quickly eroding Apple's share. With Android sets, we are seeing manufactures cram as much hardware as can be held in the set. While Apple upgrades a camera lens here and a screen there. The next iPhone version should show us how serious they are about regaining lost market share.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By AlterEcho on 4/30/2011 9:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
Minor correction...I meant $399.00

RE: Asus Transformer....
By kaosstar on 4/27/2011 9:09:07 AM , Rating: 2
The Viewsonic G-Tablet can be had for $299. By all accounts it's pretty decent, especially for that kind of money.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By jimbojimbo on 4/29/2011 3:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
I've got an Archos 70 purchased for a whopping total of $275 from Amazon. it's got Android 2.2 on it, wi-fi only and 16GB of memory with a microSD slot. It does everything I want it to do including hardware video acceleration and can play 720p mkvs without a hitch. It also has a mini-HDMI out so I can plug it into the TV.

It's reasons like that a $600 tablet is hell no not going to sell unless there are brainless idiots with money out there... I'm not only talking about Xoom here... some kind of fruit.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/26/2011 10:55:46 AM , Rating: 1
If they were sold out, I would expect it to say no stock.

Target for example has, when you click on the link you provided...

We could not find matches for “ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101-A1 10.1-Inch Tablet Computer (Tablet Only)”

Most of the store are NOT listing it for sale, and BB, when I was there yesterday, had no clue what it even was much less it was being released today.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By cjohnson2136 on 4/29/2011 4:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Asus Transformer....
By TheRequiem on 4/26/2011 7:34:56 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, because I ordered mine through Amazon mid-day....

RE: Asus Transformer....
By Blight AC on 4/26/2011 9:59:03 AM , Rating: 3
It pretty much rapidly sold out. However, it shows that there is indeed a market for Android tablets, at the right price. I also know the features of the optional keyboard attachment with extended battery life is pretty much the biggest draw for me on this tablet, and the reason I'll likely get the Transformer over the Xoom.

I was very interested in the HTC Flyer, but that 7 inch screen and lower resolution just won't work for me. I've tried that 7 inch size, and it's just not right for a lot of the web sites out there.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By JMC2000 on 4/26/2011 10:37:45 AM , Rating: 5
This is the first time I have ever heard anyone (besides myself) complain that a 7" tablet is too small... Thank you, thank you.

Anyways, the Xoom was destined to fail right from launch: Too expensive and too limited for its price.

Finally, Apple's competitors get how to sell devices in an Apple-dominated world (took them long enough); Comparable feature-set at a lower price, or superior feature-set at the same, or slightly cheaper price.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By icemansims on 4/26/2011 11:35:40 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. 10.1" is a better size. 7 inch is just too small. Hell, my EVO is 4.3".

RE: Asus Transformer....
By JMC2000 on 4/26/2011 11:43:32 AM , Rating: 2
This is why I'm pretty much drooling over the GalaxyTab (II) 10", which is weird, seeing as I really don't like the way Samsung usually screws up something (TouchWiz and the original GalaxyTab). I can't wait for it to launch!

RE: Asus Transformer....
By Ammohunt on 4/26/2011 2:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
Size matters?

RE: Asus Transformer....
By LSUJester on 4/26/2011 8:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
My wife says it doesn't matter.... oh wait.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By theapparition on 4/26/2011 12:04:49 PM , Rating: 2
Anyways, the Xoom was destined to fail right from launch: Too expensive and too limited for its price.

Don't believe that for one second.

Limited? It has more features than current iPad and iPad2 models.

Price? It was priced at the same price point as the 32GB WiFi iPad/iPad2.

The Xoom's only failings was:
1) Allowing Verizon to screw the launch up by only letting them release the 3G version first with mandatory data plans or a ridiculous unsubsidized price or $799. Till this day, most people still try to compare the $799 Xoom vs $499 iPad. Once that perception becomes legend, it hurts many of the sales that could have been.

2) Should have released the Xoom WiFi first and undercut the iPad price. Price this at $399 and it would have flown off the shelves. Yes, take a loss and make Google subsidize that loss. Apple can afford to sell hardware at cost because they also religously want to control the content stream and profit from that. Other manufacturers can't do that unless Google steps up and helps them, even in an add supported measure.

The Xoom today is still the best Android tablet released. I haven't found anything else that will match it.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By fearsjohn on 4/26/2011 12:37:12 PM , Rating: 2
apple makes a good amount of money on each ipad they sell. they are nowhere near cost for the ipad.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By theapparition on 4/26/2011 3:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
True, but they also don't have the quantity that Apple does either. Higher volume manufacturing means cheaper prices.

When Apple first introduced the iPhone, first models were sold close to cost. Same with iPad. The $499 model was a loss leader for a few months until volume production brought costs down.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By mcnabney on 4/26/2011 12:50:13 PM , Rating: 5
You are dead on.

People clump all of the iPad sales together, when in fact the vast, vast majority of iPads sold are wifi only. Entangling the Xoom with a wireless carrier doomed it to be perceived only on the 3G price tier, of which relatively few iPads are sold.

There is nothing wrong with the Xoom. It should have been pushed as a $450 wifi only device which can also be purchased from Verizon with a 3G/4G radio for $550-600. Having an inactive SD slot and an IOU for a 4G radio really didn't help either. It is hard to sell an expensive device when there a lot of "and, buts" to mention.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By invidious on 4/26/2011 6:22:20 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, the Xoom is not limited at all. And size absolutely matters, the big screen was a major selling point for me.

Sure it had a price premium but and it was a bad marketing decision. To me its 100% worth the price but it would have been better for both the Android scene and Motorolo to market it cheaper and sell more units.

I dont regret my purchase one bit. There is so much to customize and play with.

RE: Asus Transformer....
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/27/2011 2:51:53 AM , Rating: 2
And so many applications and such fast performance!


RE: Asus Transformer....
By Wierdo on 4/26/2011 1:28:23 PM , Rating: 4
The Asus tablet was on Amazon and sold out completely in a matter of minutes:

Motorola might wanna take note of why they're not doing as well, can that old dog learn new tricks? We'll see...

By mfed3 on 4/26/2011 9:46:13 AM , Rating: 5
maybe those retards shouldnt have priced it so high. they deserve the failure 100% for being so greedy

RE: idiots
By tekzor on 4/26/2011 9:48:05 AM , Rating: 3
I really didn't like the low quality screen. It had this yellowish hue which is extremely noticeable upclose in addition to the pixels themselves.
Big turn off for me in the tablet market. Went with the ipad 2 and the IPS screen.

RE: idiots
By quiksilvr on 4/26/2011 10:08:39 AM , Rating: 2
It's simple marketing economics: DON'T PRICE YOUR PRODUCT MORE THAN APPLE!!!

The WiFi model should have sold for $479 and they should have advertised to death on how much cheaper it is.

RE: idiots
By JMC2000 on 4/26/2011 10:46:54 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly. It seems as though no one could figure this out before.

What do you get from Apple?
64GB WiFi-only iPad2 for $700
32GB WiFi+3G iPad2 for $729
64GB WiFi+3G for $829

Did you know that the 3G Xoom is STILL $800 at WorstBuy, and the WiFi-only version is 'only' $589, a whole $10 savings!

You wanna know what really hurt the Xoom's chances, that deal mandatory prepaid one-month data from Verizon.

RE: idiots
By Lanister on 4/26/2011 11:22:16 AM , Rating: 2
You wanna know what really hurt the Xoom's chances, that deal mandatory prepaid one-month data from Verizon.

What hurt them is stuff like this, people spreading misinformation. I did not have to buy any prepaid data; the only people who did were people who bought the subsidized version from Verizon.

As for price (from BB website)
32 GB Wifi only Ipad2 $599.99
32 GB Wifi only Xoom $599.00 on "sale" for $589.99 - Now once they enable the SD card slot you would have to compare it to the 64 GB Ipad which is $699.99. Also you would be able to swap out that SD card giving you technically limitless storage.

RE: idiots
By JMC2000 on 4/26/2011 11:39:52 AM , Rating: 2
I'll admit, I stand corrected on the pricing comparison.

As for you not having to buy the prepaid data, exactly when did you get your Xoom, because I went in to my local BestBuy to look at one when it first came out (3G only), and I was told that I would have to buy at least one month of Verizon prepaid data service, that was a no-sale to me.

RE: idiots
By Lanister on 4/26/2011 12:34:14 PM , Rating: 2
It was almost 4 weeks ago. I did some searching and it appears I stand corrected on the activation fee. It doesn't appear it was ever required for the Wifi version but if you bought the 3G with no subsidey you were still required to buy one month of data as an "activation fee". Seems that people complained that it wasn't fair that the Ipad didn't have the same requirement so Verizon dropped the fee, at least for now.

If I paid full price for a product and Verizon still forced me to buy a month of service to activate it I would tell them to go F### themselves also.

I love my Xoom, but Moto failed big time on this launch. The product was rushed out the door not 100% complete and without a good marketing campaign in place.

Does anyone know if the HW vendors get a cut of any app sales? Apple gets a percentage of every app sold, so they can afford to sell the HW for a little less knowing they will get additional money for the apps down the road, if Moto and other Droid vendors dont get any money for apps its going to be difficult to compete on price.

RE: idiots
By KentState on 4/26/2011 4:44:16 PM , Rating: 2
I purchased mine from Best Buy the day after the iPad2 was released and wasn't required to buy the one month plan.

Why I believe the Xoom is failing
By Lanister on 4/26/2011 11:07:28 AM , Rating: 2
I have a Xoom and I love it. The only reason I bought it was I had enough gift cards to BestBuy to get one; I would not have spent my own money with the price that high.

So I believe the reasons are:
1. Price is too high, should be $400 - $500. The fact that the transformer is flying off the shelves shows there is demand; Moto just priced themselves out of the market.
2. The product while has promise isn’t done, it feels like it is in final RC stage.
3. Two key selling points 4G and SD card are not working, hackers have got the SD card working but for some reason Google hasn't.
4. Marketing and product placement. Walk into any BestBuy and you will find a nice stand with 2 Ipad2's out front for all to see and play, where is the Xoom? It’s typically placed somewhere in the netbook area with no special display. I have read reports of it being in the far back of the store and some cases of it not being displayed at all.

By tekzor on 4/26/2011 12:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
4. is so funny because its true ( and sad)

you described the exact set up my BB has.
2 ipad 2s in the middle open area while the xoom is to the corner where the netbooks are. Talk about poor marketing!
And lets not forget the playbook. In the cell phone section and my BB did even have it hooked up to the wifi so I can use the tablet to its potential.

By mcnabney on 4/26/2011 12:55:46 PM , Rating: 2
The Apple display is required by Best Buy's contract with Apple. The Xoom's placement is assigned by Best Buy Mobile, which operates relatively independently inside of most Best Buy stores. Best Buy placed it with their laptops and netbooks. It has a nice mount that allows the user total freedom to pick it up and fiddle with it.

RE: Why I believe the Xoom is failing
By lonechicken on 4/26/2011 2:42:27 PM , Rating: 2
4) Yep.

I understand there is a special deal that BB made with Apple, but does the deal include "...make sure the Xoom and the Iconia A500 have totally drained batteries so nobody can try them out"? Because it seems that way.

By Cheesew1z69 on 4/27/2011 8:30:27 AM , Rating: 2
My BB opened the Acer box for me so I could check out the device, they had none out! :O I was like, I am not going to buy something I haven't even SEEN, he had to get manager approval, and he was kind of perplexed it wasn't out on display =\

By kleinma on 4/26/2011 9:52:11 AM , Rating: 3
having made the booming Android operating system

Shouldn't that read "having bought the booming Android operating system"

RE: hmm
By BSMonitor on 4/26/2011 10:52:14 AM , Rating: 2
Question. Can you take the battery out of the Xoom in case of a Android OS freeze??

Screen and price
By gassyjoe on 4/26/2011 11:02:48 AM , Rating: 3
Right now, I feel the two biggest factors to a tablet selling well are screen quality and price.

Screen quality is a MAJOR factor in a tablet doing well. It's a tablet, EVERYTHING revolves around the screen. Input, output, easy of use, picture quality, if a tablet is lacking in these then it doesn't matter if the rest of the hardware is out of this world, nobody will want to use it. The iPad has set the standard for a good screen and any tablet that comes out with less than a high res, IPS screen is already one step behind the curve.

Price is pretty obvious as well. Mark it up too high and nobody will try it, especially when there are now quite a few other options to choose from. You can't make a Android tablet and price it exactly the same as the iPad. It has to be cheaper, doesn't matter if it's got better hardware or not, still needs to be cheaper than the iPad. I think Asus found a more acceptable price point at $400 and that price will do well to start with. I think if the tablet could be dropped down to around $300 and the keyboard dock priced around $100 then they'd have a real winner and take a big chunk of the tablet and netbook market.

The Xoom has failed on both counts with a sub-par screen and too high of a price.

RE: Screen and price
By darckhart on 4/26/2011 3:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
couldn't agree more!

on a device where the only usable surface is the screen, it better be the best.

and price, tell me about it. i don't see any tablets needing to cost more than 400. it's smartphone hardware on smartphone os for the time being. sorry, but any more than 400 puts you in the buy-a-cheap-throw-away laptop range, which, oh right, has a keyboard, an actual os, with developed useful software to take care of that light business use.

Apparition has one
By Lord 666 on 4/26/2011 10:32:37 AM , Rating: 2
He is the only person I know to have one. Not sure if it was a company purchase or he used his own funds.

Personally, I picked up the iPad2. Its found its niche as a teaching tool and was a business expense for me.

RE: Apparition has one
By theapparition on 4/26/2011 12:14:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yes I do. I've found it's the best Android tablet, bar none, that's been released as of today.

I did buy mine for personal use, but do use it for business as well. Haven't had any issues with it. Works flawlessly. I would like to see some more dedicated apps for it. Only complaint I have is location of power button could have been better, but otherwise that's all I can fault it for. Any Honeycomb issues should be directed towards Google and not Motorola. Any new tablet that comes out will be subject to the same Honeycomb issues.

I also have a Nook color, that has a themed CM7 (Gingerbread) on it. Also works very nice for a cheap tablet and lets the kids play Angry Birds on a larger screen. My wife, who didn't have any interest in tablets saw the NC and got one for herself.

How to do it wrong - when you are a big company
By Belard on 4/27/2011 2:38:47 AM , Rating: 2
Xoom was/is still a me-too product. As stated, it wasn't fully done when they released it to the market. Yeah, a bug here and there is to be expected. But with Apple's constant updated and the release of the more polished iPad2 - its a tough sell for any Android.

The ASUS Transformer, IMHO - is the COOLEST Android tablet computer in the market. They actually designed something that went beyond a plain "tablet" system. The price of $400 is fair for a Wifi model. The concept of having the keyboard/cover that does what the Transformer does - makes it a Netbook/tablet killer.

Something that XOOM isn't. Samsung Galaxies aren't either.

Android of course needs quite a bit of catching up to do of course.

By kitonne on 4/29/2011 8:22:06 PM , Rating: 2
Moto Xoom: 1024x600
Asus Transformer: 1280x800

Need at least 1280x800 resolution for most web sites, so Xoom was DOA as far as I am concerned. I tried out a netbook with 1024x600 screen and it went back, even with a 35% restocking fee - I could not use it for the sites I use most without a LOT of scrolling, so it was cheaper to ship it back then loose my sanity....

What is worst is that I looked at a Xoom in a Staples, and it was so covered by fingerprints you could barely read the text. I tried to clean it out, and it turned into a very bright mirror - unsuitable for any use under normal lightning conditions, imho. I know that my wife would spend a lot more time cleaning it then using it, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a tablet (cheap, small toy with good battery life, to use in bed or on the couch to surf the web, read a book, see a movie or watch streaming TV or youtube). Having a gallon of Windex on standby to clean it up every 5 minutes is not part of my idea of how a tablet should be used.

Still holding for 1378x768 tablets (true 720p resolution), in 10"-12" sizes, with true GPS built-in, an automotive power adapter, and ANTIGLARE screen...

By BarkyMcWoof on 4/26/2011 10:16:40 AM , Rating: 3
It's a lot of fun. I'm used to Android so the switchover to Honeycomb was pretty easy, although the apps are all still pretty much in beta. The Xoom itself is a very sweet piece of hardware.

By legaceez on 4/26/2011 11:25:56 AM , Rating: 2
The premium price point. They shouldn't have been greedy and should have instead priced it less than the iPad rather than more.

By raabscuttle on 4/26/2011 1:42:02 PM , Rating: 2
On the bright side, they could just "placed" next to the Atari 2600 E.T. game cartridges. Atari showed just EXACTLY what needs to be done with failed products.

Bad for Motorola, good for us!
By ultimatebob on 4/26/2011 9:07:32 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously... I can't wait for the Xoom closeout sale on Woot six months from now! It should only cost $300 by then, and most of the software issues with Android 3.x should be fixed.

Throw in a 4G modem, and you got a good deal!

By Shadowmaster625 on 4/27/2011 8:35:02 AM , Rating: 2
When the price hits $249 they will sell. What in blazes do they expect when they charge an arm and half a leg?

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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