If you believed the pre-release hype, Motorola
was supposed to dash into the market and slay the iPad, ending Apple
's tablet reign and ushering in a new era ruled by Google
's Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) platform. It all sounded like a solid plan, with Honeycomb being the first version of Android built from the ground up for tablets, but then something happened: the Xoom shipped.
Perhaps equally important, so did the iPad 2, which boasted a faster processor, better graphics, more memory, a pair of cameras (albeit crappy ones), and a thinner and lighter profile. Meanwhile, Motorola's Xoom tablet came onto the scene, and despite being a very good tablet, it failed to slay the iPad. So what happened?
Maybe the Xoom needed to be thinner, or perhaps it should have shipped with Flash support right off the bat. We're speculating, but another reason could be its price tag. With 32GB of storage, the Xoom is priced competitively with the iPad, but with Google's open-source Android platform running the show, users may have simply expected the Xoom to sell for a Benjamin or two less that what it's going for.
Whatever the reason, the Xoom isn't flying off of store shelves, but how many did Motorola manage to move? We won't know the answer until Motorola releases exact figures, but in the meantime, analysts are coming out of the woodwork with less than stellar expectations. According to an AP report, Sanford Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu expects Motorola to announce it shipped a mere 200,000 Xooms.
It could be even lower. Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdry says, at best, Motorola may have moved 120,000 Xoom devices, and at worst, just 25,000, according to The Wall Street Journal
. That doesn't stack up well with the iPad 2, of which Apple sold around 1 million units during its first weekend of sale.