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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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.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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