Xoom's Race for Second Place

3:50 PM -- Motorola Mobility LLC has only/already sold 100,000 Xoom tablets in its first six weeks on the scene. Which adverb you choose has a big effect on how you interpret these figures, released today by Deutsche Bank AG .

The numbers are just a rough estimate, determined by the number of people using Android 3.0, Honeycomb, which is only on the Xoom today. They do, however, already have many calling the Xoom a "flop," because Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s original iPad sold 300,000 in its first day.

You can't blame everyone for comparing the Xoom to Apple's golden child -- it was made to emulate it. But it may not ever emulate its success, regardless of how good its hardware or software is. (See CTIA 2011: Xoom Takes On the iPad 2 and Android Cheat Sheet: How to Beat the iPad 2.)

Tablets, as a category, are only just over a year old. Given the newness, 100,000 may prove to be great in this market. Eventually, Android tablets, as a whole, will likely surpass the iPad in sales by virtue of having many form factors, operator partners, and manufacturers to choose from.

But, I don't see any one tablet in the foreseeable future beating the iPad on its own, especially a tablet like the Xoom that is more expensive and running a new, and still buggy, operating system. (See Tablet Wars: Who's Xooming Whom?)

Does that make it a flop? Not really. In the tablet world, it's a race for second place.

Light Reading Editor in Chief Phil Harvey and I compared the merits of the iPad and Xoom at CTIA . Here's the video.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:08:29 PM
re: Xoom's Race for Second Place

Also, keep in mind that this only includes the 3G version as the Wi-Fi went on sale only 10 days ago. So Moto's been able to sell 100,000 at between $600 and $800. That's not too shabby.

ravanelli 12/5/2012 | 5:08:26 PM
re: Xoom's Race for Second Place

I asked someone at work who bought the Xoom why they went with it instead of iPad, the answer was "because it's not Apple."  

There's a (slowly) growing market for the Apple backlashers, people who can't bear the too-cool-for-the-room attitude of their commercials and sales people.  As irrational a purchasing criteria as that may be, it's there.  Honestly that drove me to buy the Atrix4G, which ended up being returned for the more mature iPhone4 a week later.

So I figure Apple will maintain massive share of the tablet market they've created and continue to lead, and everyone else shares the leftovers.


larryw408 12/5/2012 | 5:08:24 PM
re: Xoom's Race for Second Place

MOT is pretty good at making money for others.   100K @ $800ea is not a bad month's work, but discount that by 1/2 for disribution costs, and then back the COGS out and you're looking more like $150.  Obviously this all ignores the R&D and other amortized expenses...

Where are they getting the after sale revenue?  Remember that study that showed Apple with a small portion of the phone market but a huge chunk of the profits?  MOT's still gotta figure that one out: work smarter, not harder.

And sure, there's always a group who don't like brand X (or A) for whatever reason, but smart marketers ignore them and nurture the other 80%.  Work smarter, not harder.

Sign In