Motorola XOOM Wifi available March 27th for $599

March 16, 2011: 10:58 AM ET

Motorola should have released this a month ago.

XOOM via Motorola

Amazon.com (AMZN), Best Buy (BBY), Costco (COST), RadioShack (RSH), Sam's Club, Staples(SPLS) and Walmart (WMT) will all be selling the Motorola (MMI) XOOM on March 27th, Motorola announced today.  The $599, 32GB tablet matches up with Apple's(AAPL) 32GB Wifi iPad on price but offers some interesting differentiators:

  • It will have the ability to play Adobe's (ADBE)Flash when it is launched on Friday
  • It will be able to play 720P HD movies without scaling because the XOOM screen is bigger and has more pixels
  • Better front and rear cameras (or so says Macworld)
  • Better Maps software included
  • Voice Commands and navigation
  • Obviously better Google account integration

The iPad on the other hand is thinner, lighter and has Apple's famed hardware/software integration.  Apple also has the marketing money and product placement people to make sure everyone knows about the iPad 2.

Considering Motorola didn't even have the 4G parts for its XOOM 4G and requires a planned recall 'fix', it appears they've really dropped the ball. Motorola should have launched the Wifi product initially as it would have been much more competitive against Apple's iPad 2 for more customers.  More and more people (especially high end tablet users) already have a Wifi Hotspot plan with their phone plans.  Signing up for an additional wireless plan (even if it is only to activate the Wifi!) is a non-starter from most people, me included.

As has been stated before, Motorola's market strategy was flawed.  Now that the iPad 2 is in the wild, if not on store shelves yet (Apple hasn't ramped up production to meet demand) it has to compete with Apple's marketing juggernaut for consumer mind share.

And now that CTIA is next week, not only does Motorola have to compete with the iPad 2, but they also have to compete against other Honeycomb tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and tablets from Toshiba and LG and others.

Full Press Release follows:

Motorola Mobility Brings MOTOROLA XOOM™ Wi-Fi to United States

Innovative new tablet experience to be available from more than seven leading retailers nationwide

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill., March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI), today announced the upcoming availability of MOTOROLA XOOM™ Wi-Fi edition from leading retailers across the United States starting March 27. Amazon.com, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, Sam's Club (select locations), Staples and Walmart will be offering the 10.1-inch widescreen HD tablet with Android™ 3.0 (Honeycomb) through both online and retail store channels. The MSRP for MOTOROLA XOOM Wi-Fi with 32 GB of memory will be $599.

"MOTOROLA XOOM is a truly innovative tablet - its design, coupled with being the first tablet to have Android 3.0, results in a user experience that is one-of-a-kind," said Dan Papalia, vice president of retail sales for Motorola Mobility. "We are now continuing to expand the choices available to consumers with the MOTOROLA XOOM Wi-Fi to be available soon from numerous leading retailers in the United States."

In addition, the MOTOROLA XOOM Wi-Fi will be available to commercial IT channels and regional retailers through a distribution agreement with Synnex Corporation, and regional carriers through Brightpoint, Inc.

MOTOROLA XOOM showcases the innovations of the Honeycomb user experience – including widgets, true multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization – on a 10.1-inch widescreen HD display, enabling video content that's richer and clearer than ever before. With a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM, MOTOROLA XOOM delivers exceptionally fast web-browsing performance. The latest Google Mobile services include Google Maps 5.0™ with 3D interaction and access to more than 3 million Google eBooks and apps from Android Market™. MOTOROLA XOOM also supports a Beta of Adobe® Flash® Player 10.2 downloadable from Android Market, enabling the delivery of rich Flash based web content including videos, casual games and rich Internet applications.

As the first device running Android 3.0, MOTOROLA XOOM benefits from our aggressive work with developers across the ecosystem through MOTODEV, Motorola's developer support program to enable world-class tablet and smartphone experiences. These devices will be able to access more than 150,000 applications within the Android Market as well as the rapidly increasing number of applications optimized directly for the Android 3.0 OS. In addition, thousands of Flash-based web applications and sites will become available for the MOTOROLA XOOM.

As a part of the company's commitment and leadership -- along with Google's -- to the Android ecosystem, Motorola announced a series of global developer events in 11 cities across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. These MOTODEV events give developers access to tools, support and Motorola's team of Android experts. The first of these events was hosted in San Francisco on March 1 and had more than 665 developers in attendance.

MOTODEV also recently announced a new testing and certification program for Honeycomb applications, encouraging developers to submit their applications to get early feedback and support on MOTOROLA XOOM performance. This is a part of the company's ongoing commitment to supporting the ecosystem in delivering high quality experiences to the consumer.

More information about MOTODEV tools, resources and events can be found at http://developer.motorola.com.

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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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