Everyone seems to be freaking out about the recently revealed pricing for the upcoming Motorola XOOM tablet. On the surface that seems silly: the XOOM has a dual-core processor, a 1280×720 10.2 inch touch screen, two cameras (a 5MP rear camera with flash and a 2MP ‘webcam’), as well as the latest Android 3.0 operating system. On paper it seems like the XOOM completely blows away the iPad, but as we have learned with the fictitious Samsung Tab sales numbers, having better specs means little.
An article at eWeek lists 10 reasons why the XOOM is overpriced, but there was one that caught my attention:
3. Apple can get away with it, but not Motorola
Apple can get away with selling a device for $829, simply because it’s one of the most recognized and respected companies in the world. But Motorola isn’t Apple and chances are, it never will be. Realizing that, Motorola can’t come too close to iPad pricing. Offering its Xoom tablet for $800 won’t help its cause.
There are more reasons consumers might not want to cough up $800 for a version 1.0 product, that are detailed in the article. One is that $800 has a ‘sticker shock’ factor – even if most people aren’t buying the $500 iPad, they know it is the entry point.
Worse still, according to a leaked Best Buy flyer shown at Engadget last weekend, in order to activate WiFi you need to buy at least one month of a data plan. Here is the flyer:
Is it me, or is that the biggest pile of nonsense ever? I have a WiFi iPad and have only once or twice felt that I could really benefit from the 3G version – it just isn’t a must-have feature for me. If I want a XOOM, the LAST thing I want to do is have to add 3G from the beginning!
What do you think – does the XOOM have a chance, or is Moto setting themselves up for a marginal niche product?