Motorola's Xoom features, functionality and pricing were decided, in part, by the phone maker's desire to produce a competitive alternative to Apple's iPad 2, Sanjay Jha said.
Motorola Mobility's Xoom tablet costs more than gadget experts expected
because it was loaded with premium features to compete with Apple's iPad 2,
said CEO Sanjay Jha.
its 10.1-inch Xoom, based on Google's Android 3.0
"Honeycomb" operating system, Feb. 24 from Verizon Wireless.
The slate costs $599 with a two-year, minimum 1GB data contract for $20 a
month. Consumers may also purchase it sans contract for $799, or $70 more than
a comparable iPad.
One day before the Xoom launched, Apple invited media and analysts to an
iPad event scheduled for March 2--a strategic move designed to paralyze people
who were considering buying a Xoom.
Despite this preemptive strike, the Xoom is off to a "good start,"
said Jha at the Morgan Stanley technology conference in San
Francisco Feb. 28.
Jha also noted that the cost for the tablet is based on its quality and
performance, along with the fact that it can be upgraded
to run on Verizon's 4G LTE network later this year.
"We had to shoot a little bit in front of where iPad was, knowing that
the iPad 2 is coming out," Jha said, according to Dow
. "We felt that $799 was the right price point for an
The Xoom is also powered by a dual-core, 1GHx processor compared with the
single core A4 chip that powers the iPad. Motorola's tablet is also fitted with
front and rear-facing cameras for video chat, while the original iPad has no
cameras. The iPad 2 is expected
to sport dual cameras at launch, which could come sometime
The dual cameras cost Motorola $14 to include, said UBM TechInsights, after
conducting a component teardown of tablet computers.
The researcher said
the Xoom parts cost Motorola about $278, compared with
about $245 for a comparable iPad. The Xoom's higher resolution display also
added $5 to the tab.
Still, industry analysts were clearly put off
by the Xoom's cost, arguing that it should make it less
attractive than the iPad.
"Pricing has emerged as a real Achilles' heel for iPad competitors, as
we've seen with Galaxy Tab and now Xoom," IDC analyst Susan Kevorkian told
"It's unfortunate because, in the case of Xoom, the Android Honeycomb
OS is well done, and the technology is fundamentally competitive with iPad and
iOS, but the device pricing, plus monthly data plan commitment, is likely to be
Motorola's move to challenge the iPad 2 might have also provided an
opportunity for HP and RIM to come in with more price-competitive offerings
later this year, Kevorkian added.
That bearish attitude may not bode well for Xoom consumer purchases down the
road. Of course, the speculation could shift once the world gets a peek at the
iPad 2 tomorrow.