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 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!


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