Looks like we’ll be seeing the Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi only model on market shelves a little before the anticipated April release. According to a pamphlet from the Staples store, the tablet will be in stores on March 27 for $599.98.
While the price is not the half grand people were hoping to see, nor the $539 that Sam’s Club has put up as the cost of the device, it is $200 lesser than the 3G version of the Motorola Xoom off contract. With the 2 year Verizon agreement, the 3G version is also available for $600. In any case, the Staple’s price is at least the same figure Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha hinted at during the MWC.
The Motorola Xoom, despite having an amazing set of features, aggressive marketing on its side and a whole lot of publicity, isn’t selling like hot cakes at stores. An analyst from the investment firm Morgan Keegan & Company informed investors that in-store sales of the 10.1 inch tablet are crawling. Across 80 Verizon Wireless retail locations, the tablet is only selling at an average 2 units per day. At this sell-through rate, Motorola Xoom’s sale figure for the quarter will only be about 300,000.
The numbers are disappointing. The cost of the tablet could be one reason as the $800 deal is a pricey proposition. The device also does not ship with the expected Flash support and the microSD, which could also be contributing factors (although an OTA update was pushed recently). Of course, compared to iPad’s mature OS, the Honeycomb OS does have some rough edges but those should be smoothened out by the joint efforts of Google and Motorola. At the end of the deal, all of these factors are dragging the sales a bit even if Sanjay Jha says sales are “off to a good start.”
On a side note, Staples will also be stocking the BlackBerry PlayBook for $499 (possible release in mid April) and the 10 inch Toshiba tab that is supposed to beat the iPad 2 in technology and price. It should be a good season for Staples in its “computers and accessories” product category.