The 3G version of the Motorola Xoom is already
in stores, but a cheaper, Wi-Fi-only version will soon be on the way. Motorola
announced today that the Xoom Wi-Fi will officially be available on March 27 at
a number of U.S. retailers including Amazon.com, Best Buy, Staples, and
Whereas the Xoom 3G (soon
to be 4G) starts at a lofty $799 without contract ($599
with contract), the Xoom Wi-Fi will start at $599 with no strings attached.
That price tag gets you a 10.1" tablet running Android 3.0, a 1280x800
screen resolution, dual-core processor and 32GB of storage space. That pricing
also puts it in direct competition with Apple's
32GB iPad 2 (Wi-Fi-only model).
There is no word on whether Motorola will introduce an even
cheaper 16GB Xoom at a later date to go head-to-head with Apple's 16GB iPad 2.
“MOTOROLA XOOM is a truly innovative tablet – its design,
coupled with being the first tablet to have Android 3.0, results in a user
experience that is one-of-a-kind,” said Dan Papalia, vice president of retail
sales for Motorola Mobility. “We are now continuing to expand the choices
available to consumers with the MOTOROLA XOOM Wi-Fi to be available soon from
numerous leading retailers in the United States.”
Hopefully this cheaper variant of the Xoom will help to spur
sales. Analysts are already reporting that Xoom sales are
"underwhelming" compared to the overachieving iPad