Best Buy’s iPad 2 Shortage Should be the Xoom’s Opportunity

by: Darryl DoakApril 18, 2011

This weekend it has come to our attention that Best Buy has had difficulty receiving enough stock of Apple’s iPad 2 to meet consumer demand. I think this problem of production shortage should be a time of great adoption for the Motorola Xoom Honeycomb tablet. Being that Motorola is leading the pack of Android tablets as the only Honeycomb tablet on the market currently, they should be the “go to” tablet in times of iPad 2 shortage at these retailers. However Motorola’s initial error in entering the market as a high end product has continued to plague sales. Their price of $599 on contract through Verizon and $799 off contract really killed their momentum and the initial rush people had towards buying the first Honeycomb tablet. They should have entered the market exactly price matching Apple’s iPad back on February 24th, to become a true alternative to the product that was viewed by many as the benchmark to compare all tablets.

Motorola’s Xoom tablet is a wonderful tablet, we’ve all seen how the hardware is actually superior to Apples iPad 2, but the initial thought that tablets would be a high end device that could command a high price tag has not been accepted by the general populace. It seems now that tablets sales have pulled the rug from under Netbooks as the easily portable, and ready to use internet browser.

Personally, I think its great that Motorola has finally released its 32GB Wifi only tablet to directly compete with the Wifi only iPad and iPad 2’s that have been runaway successes. However, Motorola needs to realize that the market is desiring a lower price tag, and a better bang for the buck. Especially at a time when the Xoom is the only viable alternative to the iPad, Motorola should be taking advantage of this shortage and dropping the price on their Xoom tablets to be more competitive. As well, they should be retooling their offerings to offer $449-$499 16GB Wifi only Xoom tablets. Your average consumer does not want to buy a product that is unproven for a higher price tag than something that is already established. With another great Honeycomb tablet right around the corner –competition between the best Android Honeycomb tablets is about to heat up for Motorola. This particular tablet is the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, which is to start at $399, Acers Iconia tablets and Toshibas Antares tablets are starting at $449,  and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1″ will be starting at $499. Looking over the coming competitors, Motorola should really be dropping its prices on its 32GB Wifi only tablets to $499 to steal some of the thunder from Apple’s iPad 2 while they are the only alternative, not to mention that they need to broaden their reach by increasing their amount of retailers.

The time to take advantage is right now, if Motorola wants to have any semblance of a ‘bang’ before the market is flooded with competition and the Xoom becomes old news. Quite simply, they need to seize the day and drop those prices. I’ve said it before, my heart belongs to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1″ and its sexy 8.6mm thickness. But even I would have a hard time saying no to a Motorola Xoom 32GB Wifi at $499. I probably would go out and buy one this week, but in a market where technology is old 3 months later, Motorola is already on the verge of losing its relevancy. It was released for public purchase not even two months ago and already its sun is setting, and come July no one would be caught dead buying a Xoom.

Is the Motorola Xoom already unimportant? Would you go buy a 32GB Wifi model at $499? or how bout even $549? What would it take for you guys to run out and scoop one up? Let us know in the comments.

  • Jason

    I don’t think the xoom will be a relevant for a long time. It beats the competition of any tablet on the market right now. Just because the ipad sells more doesn’t mean the ipad is better. Apple has the following that people will follow no matter how lame their products are. I’m not trying to say the ipad is not a great tool, but I will say this apple did not need to put out the ipad2 too so quickly. The only difference between the ipad 1 ipad2 the itouch and iphone are the cameras. Sure the dual core processor speed things up a little bit but not much. Apples really need to develop a new IOS if you wanna stay strong against android. The multitasking on all android devices blows away any apple devices multitasking capabilities. Apples touch interface is still smoother than android but the android devices are catching up in that catagory too. And finally if apple not open up like they did years ago they’re gonna be beaten like microsoft spanked them years ago. Dejavu

    • Nash

      The Android OS, is going to have a tough time competing with iOS 5, with the new integrated iCloud support.
      With the iCloud and tons of new features on the iOS 5, and the prices of the iPad2, i dont see any reason why anyone would prefer Andriod devices anymore.

      Here are major Hurdles Andriod Platform has

      1) The OS needs to take into account so many different hardware makers, and hence there App developers need to take that into account as well.
      This is why apps obtained on the Google Market place, doesn’t work perfectly fine the way its meant to on all android devices.

      2) Android doesn’t have a strong Cloud integration as of June 08 2011, and will struggle against that advantage all apple devices have.

      3) Android OS doesn’t imply to the fact that all software for the platform be obtained from a unified market place, this although gives flexibility to the customer has so many disadvantages.
      A number of Rouge applications can be created. Applications would stop breaking as Android updates happen, as they could use third party SDK’s.
      Applications Quality wouldn’t be guarenteed. I have friends of mine talk about they download an application on there device which displays in quarter the screen size of there device..


  • Steve

    Having bought the Xoom and returned it after 13 days: –
    It was far too expensive and the SD slot and HDMI should have been fully functional at birth. With other, similar offerings coming out now from Acer, Asus, Toshiba, etc, etc, mostly at much more reasonable prices, I wouldn’t look at a WiFi Xoom 32GB for anything more than $449.
    And let’s not forget the exorbitant price of the keyboard add-on for the Atrix!
    I am desperately awaiting the Acer and/or Asus, the Xoom is now out of the question for me. Just think, I can get the Asus 32GB for $300 less than the original Xoom (albeit with 3G).
    Toshiba looks nice but at 1.8cm (0.74″) I’m afraid that is too thick – can’t be seen carrying around a clunker!

    • Darcy Alexander

      There’s been some reports that Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer will be delayed, but i’ve yet to ascertain credibility of said reports. I couldn’t agree more with regard to having full, working functionality of bare essentials like the SD card reader, and HDMI.

      I have no doubt that Honeycomb will rectify these issues shortly. It really does seem that $400 is the sweet spot for most consumers, and that very few consumers care about 3G/4G connectivity.

  • Alex

    How can you say that the Xoom has better hardware when it Tegra 2 gets destroyed by the A5 in all graphics benchmarks?

  • Phil

    How exactly is the Xoom more powerful than the iPad? Didn the GPU benchmarks prove otherwise? Tegra 2 is overrated by far.

  • I still think $600 is fine for the Xoom, though a $500 option for a 16 gig version would have been more appealing. I don’t think $50 price differences will do anything to sway buyers one way or another.
    If anything, The Xoom needs a friggin display in Best Buy. It’s stuck with the netbooks, and there is nothing to make it stand out. Bext Buy employees have no clue about the device, and when I tried to buy the wi-fi version they kept trying to sell me the 3g version, not even being aware that a wi-fi version exists.
    Motorolla should spring for a nice display that people can see and want to walk up to to try the Xoom. That, in my opinion, would sell many more units than a small price drop.

  • Peter

    Nothing could convince me to buy a Xoom at this stage. The Xoom has one clear undeniable advantage over other Honeycomb tablets and they fluffed it by launching in 1 market (undeniably the US is the biggest and the most important but not the only). Some people (maybe just me :) would have paid a premium for the first Honeycomb tablet but the world is about to be flooded with them so that aint going to count for much now.

  • It’s interesting that Motorola have learned from their mistake in the US as they are matching the ipad perfectly on price in the UK even though Apple have taken advantage of the exchange rate and reduced the iPad 2 pricing to be cheaper than last year.
    But Motorola still seem too be messing up by delaying the release of the Xoom despite proclaiming it to be the first Android 3 device in the UK only for ASUS to sneak in with the Transformer which sold out of supplier stock within days.
    I honestly think ASUS and Acer will clean up in the UK with them impacting on HTCs quite stupid idea about selling the Flyer for £600. I don’t think anyone would buy one for that and they have tried to make the wifi version more competitive in price (although still too expensive. A national survey released today indicated that the optimal price was £250 for a tablet which is a far cry from 600!
    At least we’re not at the mercy of carriers like in the US. It’s far cheaper to buy one outright and get contract free sim for data if needed. The idea of buying one on a 2 or 3 year contract fills me with dread!

  • Randy

    I went to Best Buy to get an Ipad 2 and it was sold out, so I bought the XOOM instead, so sorry APPLE but the Xoom is awesome so far I have no complains.

    • Darcy Alexander

      The Xoom is great. I expect it to keep getting better with each software update too. Glad you like it.