Motorola Xoom: 10 Reasons It's Failing and How It Can Be Rescued

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-04-07 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

News Analysis: The Motorola Xoom has not sold nearly as well as the company had hoped. And although things look dire, it can turn the tide with some inventive moves.

The Motorola Xoom has been on store shelves for over a month. In that time, the tablet has not sold nearly as well as the company would have liked. In fact, an analyst at Deutsche Bank believes Motorola has sold just 100,000 Xoom units since the device's launch. That puts it well behind Apple's iPad, which saw 15 million unit sales last year, as well as the iPad 2, which is still unavailable across the United States.

So what went wrong with the Xoom? On paper, the device looks to be an outstanding option. It comes with a 10.1-inch display, both a front- and rear-facing camera, and it runs Google's latest operating system, Android 3.0 "Honeycomb." But it failed to catch on with customers. Now Motorola is forced to determine what its next step should be.

Luckily for Motorola, there are several ways it can go about fixing the Motorola Xoom, and although they might not be the easiest decisions to make, they are undoubtedly necessary. Here are the reasons why Xoom is failing and what can be done about it.

1. Put pressure on Google to fix Honeycomb

When Google first showed off Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the excitement surrounding the platform was palpable. Just about everyone thought that the OS, which combines elements of desktop-based software and mobile software, would best iOS. But it didn't happen, and now the Xoom is suffering because of it. The time has come for Motorola to apply some pressure on Google and get it to start working out many of the platform's kinks. As critics have said, Honeycomb just wasn't ready for prime time when it hit store shelves.

2. Where's the differentiation?

One of the biggest issues facing the Xoom is that it's not unique in any way. The device comes with a dual-core processor; so does the iPad 2. The Xoom features dual cameras; so does the iPad 2. It has a 10.1-inch display; so does both Samsung's and Dell's upcoming tablets. The Xoom is just another tablet on store shelves that customers ignore because it isn't unique. Motorola must admit that and find ways to differentiate the product. Getting 4G up and running on the Xoom might be the best first step.

3. The price is wrong

Motorola was quick to point out that the Xoom comes in at $800-$29 cheaper than Apple's most expensive iPad 2 option. Even better, Motorola said, is that with a two-year contract consumers can get the device for $600. All the while, it failed to acknowledge that five out of the six iPad 2 options are cheaper than the contract-less Xoom. And the most apt comparison-Apple's 32GB iPad 2 with 3G-is $70 cheaper than the Xoom without a two-year contract. Motorola needs to drop the price of the Xoom right now. It has no other choice.

4. The enterprise doesn't care

For the most part, the enterprise is looking towards adopting the iPad 2 or waiting to see what the Research In Motion BlackBerry PlayBook will offer. Realizing that, Xoom has largely lost the corporate world. It can try and make its case for corporate customers by highlighting some of the finer business features available in the device-such as its recently announced partnership with Polycom for MobileTelepresence-but if it doesn't work, it might just need to forget about the enterprise and focus on consumers for now.



 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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