How Xoom Can Be Rescued

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


5. The marketing is all wrong

One of the biggest issues with Motorola's Xoom is that it hasn't been marketed effectively. Earlier ads showcasing the device didn't do enough to tell customers what they would be getting with the tablet. The ads were too focused on flash and scant on substance. The time has come for Motorola to change strategy. It needs to make it clear to customers through its marketing that the Xoom is unique, it's a fine alternative to other devices, and it's worth the cash they will need to dole out.

6. Verizon needs to help more

Verizon Wireless could be one of the central elements in Motorola's plans to carve out a significant portion of the tablet market for itself. After all, the Xoom is available exclusively to Verizon customers that want to access a mobile network from the device. The only issue is, Verizon is torn. It sells the Xoom as well as the iPad 2. And as recent sales figures have shown, the iPad 2 is the better bet from a revenue perspective. Motorola needs to find a way to get Verizon to effectively promote the Xoom and give it more emphasis when customers enter Verizon stores. Right now, when one enters a Verizon store, the iPad 2 takes center stage. All others, including the Xoom, sit in the shadows. That's not good for Motorola's business.

7. Talk up the 4G

One of the core benefits of owning a Xoom is that it will soon allow customers to connect to Verizon's 4G network. However, Motorola hasn't spent nearly enough time talking about that benefit. In future, 4G should lead all of its talk about the Xoom. Not only will it appeal to corporate customers that have a mobile workforce, but it will give Motorola the chance to highlight one feature that much of the competition, including the iPad 2, lacks.

8. Take timing out of the equation

Motorola probably made a mistake by launching the Xoom so early. Customers that are planning to get their hands on a tablet this year have either already decided that they want an iPad 2, or they're waiting to see what the many other devices coming out this year will offer. At times, being early to the market is a good thing. But in the Xoom's case, it was a bad idea. Now, Motorola needs to take timing out of the minds of consumers that aren't decided on a tablet yet, and make them realize that opting for the Xoom now is a better idea than waiting to see what Samsung, Dell, and HP have in store.

9. It needs to stop competing against Apple

Let's face it: There is absolutely no chance that the Motorola Xoom will be able to overtake the iPad 2 in sales this year-or maybe any other year. To even consider Apple's tablet a real competitor is a bit of hubris for Motorola. Every tablet maker is competing for a seat at the tablet this year, but the head chair is Apple's. Motorola must acknowledge that and realize that its real competition is all the other Android-based tablet makers, as well as RIM and HP. If it can frame its strategy around that, it might have a better chance of competing.

10. If all else fails, launch a new one

The Motorola Xoom has been having trouble catching on. And although it's not a failure just yet, the company needs to do something now before it turns into one. However, if those actions fail and the Xoom continues to perform poorly at retail, Motorola will have no other option but to release another Xoom tablet. That device should show that Motorola has learned from the mistakes it made with the current product. But if it's just another Xoom with a few minor improvements, such a tablet will fail like its predecessor.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, 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

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