∞ Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi edition due on March 27 for $599

Motorola Mobility on Wednesday announced the forthcoming release of a Wi-Fi-only version of its Xoom tablet. The tablet is expected to be released in the United States on March 27 and will cost $599.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]The Motorola Xoom is considered by some industry experts and analysts to be the best frontrunning competitor against Apple’s iPad 2. The device, which just began shipping last month, sports a 10.1-inch widescreen touch display and uses Google’s Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” operating system. It comes with 32GB of on-board storage capacity and a memory card slot for additional expansion.

The current model also supports 3G data communications over Verizon Wireless’ network. However, priced at an unsubsidized $799 ($599 with two-year commitment to Verizon), the Xoom’s price competitiveness against the iPad 2 has been lackluster at best.

By comparison, the 32GB iPad 2 with 3G communications via AT&T or Verizon cost $729, and neither Apple nor its carriers require users to agree to a long-term commitment. But at $599, the Xoom Wi-Fi comes in line with the 32GB Wi-Fi-only iPad.

Apple’s still the price leader with a 16GB Wi-Fi version priced at $499. Motorola’s yet to counter with any announcement of a lower-priced, smaller-capacity Xoom.

Motorola anticipates making the Xoom Wi-Fi available through Amazon.com, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, Sam’s Club, Staples and Walmart locations nationwide.

  • His Shadow

    Did anyone else run straight to the Apple website to check the price of a WiFi 32G iPad?

  • Selling this thing at Walmart and other non tech retailers is a good move for Motorola because they usually don’t have a working display model and the consumer will not have a chance to see all the problems with the rushed to market operating system.

    • Peter Cohen

      LOL. I was at Best Buy on Monday (to pick up a Smart Cover for my new iPad – the Apple retailer I bought one from was out) and stopped at the tablet kiosk to check out the Xoom. It was off, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to get it working. I think it was busted or battery-drained.

      • Trigger23

        That has been my experience with pretty much every display model I’ve ever tried to use at BB. I was trying to compare the Nook color and the Kindle and the Nook was off/drained/broken, and the kindle was stuck in some kind of demo mode that would not allow you to interact with it at all. Very frustrating.

      • NotTellinYou

        To be fair this is why Apple moved to a “store within a store” format with BB and staffs them with trained people on weekends etc. For too long the Mac’s were off and or broken at BB so when Apple went back to BB it was under Apple’s control.

    • Anonymous

      Plus for Any $600 item you really are going to want to see it in action.

  • Finally, a model not tied to carriers. Come on, Motorola. Thaaat’s it. Baby steps, sweetie.

  • Not Impressed

    Good luck with that Motorola!

  • Anonymous

    So the difference between wi-fi and 3g is $200? Why does their 3g antenna cost so much more than Apple’s?

    • Giorgio

      I was wondering the same thing. With Apple’s 3G you also get GPS. What else do you get for your $200 when you get the Xoom 3G?

      • His Shadow

        …an extra week of use.

    • Anonymous

      Think it’s more a reaction to iPad 2 and it keeping same price points

      Moto will have to cut the price of the 3G version soon as well

    • RichardL

      The price difference is $70, Motorola’s Xoom includes a 4G LTE upgrade.

      • Anonymous

        I’m referring to the difference between the wifi and 3g versions of both. It is $130 for the iPad, $200 for the Xoom.

        • RichardL

          Yes. Of course, but what you refer to as the 3G version of the Xoom includes a 4G LTE upgrade. Hence the price difference.

    • Kylecpcs

      Because it has LTE as well. That and Apple uses cheap crap, hence their reception problems in every device they sell.

      • Anonymous

        Well said. I mean look at all of the various complaints about 3G reception for iPads, Verizon iPhones and GSM iPhones outside of the USA.

        Certainly, those buyers of defective hardware aren’t nearly as smart as the people paying an extra $70 for a “free” LTE upgrade that doesn’t actually exist on their device. I mean, who wouldn’t want to give a company a free loan?

        Heck, the ability to watch Flash and use that USB slot alone is more than worth the $70 bucks!

  • Anonymous

    They pretty much had to match Apple on price for the 32GB model, but it’s interesting that they aren’t trying to compete on the 16GB level.

    If iSupply is right, it’s costing Moto about $40 per unit more than Apple to build these tablets. In addition, Apple gets better sales margins stronger direct sales plus revenues from the App Store. Margins are going to be thin for Moto, especially as other non-Apple tablets come out.

    • Anonymous

      My guess is not that Motorola aren’t trying to compete on the 16GB, but that they can’t, because they would lose money on a 16GB Xoom.

      For example, if their profit margin on the 32GB Xoom is $50, but the 16GB chip only costs $30 less, they stand to lose $20 if they price the 16GB Xoom at $499.

  • lol just cut your losses now Motorola 😉

  • STL


  • NotTellinYou

    Once again the Android fanbois can thank Apple!

  • Prediction: Motorola exits the tablet market in Q1 2012 after another hail mary pass with XOOM2.

    It’s a mystery why the company thought it would be a good idea to enter into this space to begin with. They know nothing about user interface design and their hardware offerings lack focus or continuity.

    Motorola reminds me of dudes who suck at basketball but given enough opportunities manage to score a basket from the half-court line. See RAZR and the Original Droid.

    • Den

      I have a Motorola phone that they abandoned after 9 months of promised updates. We have purchased our last Motorola device.

  • Anonymous

    Well, even though I loathe Motorola, I applaud how they are trying to put some pressure on Apple to keep pushing the technology envelope. The iPad 2 may not be a revolutionary product, but Apple is aware that they can’t keep the lead for long if they rest on their laurels. Also, Motorola has learned that they can’t just come in and take over the lead like Microsoft tired with the Zune which can now RIP.

    • Anonymous

      How do you figure? The iPad was clearly under development long before the Xoom saw the light of day. Rushing a device to market with the marquee features unavailable isn’t ANY pressure at all. Only the most hardcore anti-Apple people would give such a company a chance.

      Would you buy a car missing a door, the radio and a passenger seat if the car dealer promised to add this stuff “in the future?”

      • Anonymous

        I agree that it’s unlikely Apple was aware of any of the specifics from other manufacturers. However, they obviously knew this is the year competition was coming. The Android based competition can only compete on specs at this point.

        Clearly, the video cameras were a very obvious omission from the original iPad. I like many others pointed that out on day 1. It’s not like the use case for the cameras were ever in question by anyone with reasonable intelligence. I’m sure it was a combination of the fact that it’s tough getting a 1.0 product out to market with just the basics combined with the fact that they knew they were very much in front of the competition to the point they knew they’d have a full year before anyone else showed up to compete. I just don’t like the fact that the inclusion of cameras seems more like a reaction to the competition that it probably was. The same goes for dual cores. I was surprised that Apple came out with the A5 so soon.

        Either way, putting a little heat on Apple isn’t a bad thing. It makes them more competitive and we all benefit from that.

        • Anonymous

          Says you. The cameras never bothered me. Reasonable intelligence may not question the cameras, but I submit that deeper intelligence would consider that feature not that important, certainly not a deal breaker.

          I’m not sure why you were so surprised by the A5. I think that reasonable intelligence should have determined that since Apple has released faster iOS devices each year and ARM made the tech available, then it was almost a given that a dual core would put in an appearance, especially factoring in the lead time for development.

          I stand by what I’ve said. The Xoom is putting very little heat on Apple because the thing doesn’t work right.

      • Jago7077051

        Ever heard of the iphone 4 that was rushed to compete against android market?

        • You mean the iPhone 4 that was released in June 2010 after the iPhone 3GS that was released in June 2009 after the iPhone 3G that was released in July 2008 (announced in June) after the original iPhone that was released in June 2007? That iPhone 4? Yeah, I’ve heard of it.

  • Anonymous

    “Only the most hardcore anti-Apple people would give such a company a chance.”

    Umm, no. I hate Motorola, they have been anti-Apple even when they were partners with them. The reason I applaud any competition is that it breeds innovation. Apple has done a lot with the iPad 2, and clearly it could have waited another year before the competition could catch up, but it didn’t. If there isn’t any competition, then there is no real reason to innovate. Motorola is one of the first companies to ship a real product that was announced at CES and it’s shown that features alone cannot compete. If you look at specs on paper it would appear that the Xoom would be better, but as most head to head comparisons have shown, it falls short of the iPad 2.

    The bottom line is that now that there is something to compare the iPad to, it proves that Apple is better for a reason and not because of popularity.

    • Anonymous

      I know you hate Motorola. You said as much, “loathe”, actually. I wasn’t talking about you in that sense. My point is that the Xoom, IMO, isn’t competitive. I don’t think most people will give it a chance because they are going to open it up, see that stuff it says it does doesn’t work, then take it back.

      I think only the most hardcore anti-Apple people, people with something to prove, would put up with this. Personally, I think they’re nuts. For all the noise the nonsensical Antennagate got, it’s interesting that the slew of missing features of the Xoom doesn’t get the press.

      Missing flash and sending your device away(maybe, if they upgrade it) is a bigger deal, to me, than getting a phone to drop a bar because you grip it in both hands while licking it.

      • Jago7077051

        Until Apple allows the Ipad to use flash it will be competition. My friend and I were searching for a new car on the Ipad and almost all of the sites used flash so we were unable to do anything on it. We had to settle for a laptop and it was quite embarrasing for him after he had been bragging it up.

  • John matsukes

    I have a xoom and just the other day I got FLASH installed and the xoom works GREAT!. The materials used in the xoom are far greater in Quality compared to the I Pad. Did you know, that the glass covering the I pads screen is GLUED on?.How much can screen clamps cost? using GLUE will make it hard to open the I pad for service without BREAKING the screen and glass. Also the thickness of the I pads glass has been cut in half! that also will make it easier to break. The promised updates on the xoom have been provided on time so far that’s a + for Motorola. I have been able to do wonderfull things on my xoom that you will never be able to do on a locked down I Pad. I guess the I Pad is a nice toy/item for those that like others to make choices for them. But for me, I like being able to have a usefull tool to get things done the way I wish to do them!. Each for their own I guess

    • Jake

      Thank you John. I have a XOOM and my son has an iPad, and yes, he has access to many more apps than I do; but boy, does the XOOM beat the pants off the iPad when it comes to performance. And I love it when I can go to a flash enabled website and he is constantly cursing cause he can’t do the same on his iPad. He has already decided that when he is ready to upgrade in the next six months to a year, he will be tossing his iPad aside for a XOOM or maybe a Dell Duo.