Analyst says Honeycomb too complicated and buggy for mass public

While reports of Apple's iPad 2 sales estimated the company possibly moved around one million tablets in its launch weekend, its competitors -- namely the Motorola Xoom -- are not faring so well. 

EWeek reports that sales of the Xoom, which launched late last month, have been underwhelming. According to Jefferies and Co. analyst Peter Misek, Motorola may have to reduce production of the device if it hasn't already done so.

"We believe the device has been a bit buggy and did not meet the magic price point of $500," Misek told eWeek. "We believe management knows this and is hurrying development and production of lower cost tablets. Importantly we believe management will likely have to make the painful decision to accept little to no margin initially in order to match iPad 2's wholesale pricing."

The Android 3.0-powered Xoom was well received among reviewers, though many noted its bugginess and high price. But according to Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdry, these downsides, coupled with Honeycomb's overall poor usability and the tablet's inconsistent, poor battery life, are hampering Xoom sales.

Chowdry called Honeycomb, Google's tablet-optimized version of the Android mobile OS, "extremely complicated and confusing," implying that it would struggle to gain mass adoption. Chowdry says that Google's beta strategy worked fine on free products like Gmail and Google Maps, but simply does not cut it on a product that consumers have shelled out $800 for.

"Apple has set the perfection bar too high for Google to achieve and has also raised the expectations from the customers too on what to expect from the software," Chowdry said, adding that Google might have blown its opportunity to make a good impression with tablets.

Regardless, 2011 is poised to become the year scores of tablets flood the market, like the forthcoming PlayBook tablet from BlackBerry manufacturer RIM. An announcement on the PlayBook's availability is imminent.

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