Motorola Xoom Sales Sluggish; WiFi Only Version Coming to Staples for $600

by Mies Larsen on March 14, 2011

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.

[via droid life, BGR]

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony March 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

“The numbers are disappointing. The cost of the tablet could be one reason as the $800 deal is a pricey proposition.”

“Could be”? Try definitely the reason. People were complaining about the price tag before it was even released. Sure its a nice piece of hardware, but an $800 price tag and a contract commitment put many people off. Not everyone wants 3G or 4G service for their device. Like myself there are many who were expecting a less pricey WiFi version to be released with no strings attached. Even later on when it was made clear that you could forgo the contract; this made the situation worse. Now you’ve got an $800 device, that cost $800 allegedly because of a cellular modem you’ll never use. Look for many ticked off early adopters when the cheaper WiFi version hits the market. The launch of this device was a big fail. Exorbitant pricing, and a paltry selection turned what could have been an excellent iPad alternative into a device placed just outside the common consumer’s reach.

Apple has it flaws (Ridiculous app store control, weak cameras, locked down OS, and no Adobe flash) but thanks to the multitude of versions, you are able to pick up one that’s right for you for a reasonable price. Don’t need cell service, get a wifi only, want to save more dough go for a 16gb version. Motorola missed the boat by releasing just one version of their device. And on top of it all, they drove the nail in the coffin by making it the most expensive on the market. Who would have thought Apple would prevail in having a wider selection of offerings?

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Kevin M March 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I see a lot of this FUD. At $800, the 32GB 4G-capable Xoom is on par with the $729 32GB 3G iPad2. And you can add more memory, which you cannot do with Apple, so the prices at 64GB are even closer.

The 32GB Wi-Fi version is the exact same price as the 32GB Apple. And it will get discounted, which the Apple will never be.

So, the question should not be “is it more expensive?” because it isn’t really, but “Is it better?” and that depends on your application.

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