Honeycomb tablets delayed following the Motorola Xoom's slow start

The Motorola Xoom is the tablet many hoped would finally be a strong competitor to Apple's iPad. But the product came with some flaws that consumers are not able to overlook. As we noted in our review of the tablet, the Xoom's sleek body, good battery life, and solid hardware specifications make it a great contender in the tablet wars. However, the Xoom's biggest hindrance is its software - Android 3.0, nicknamed "Honeycomb." Hardware appears to be only a slim portion of the equation towards market success. The software experience is king, and it is reflected by the Xoom's slow start in the market. This response has reportedly caused other manufacturers releasing Honeycomb tablets to scale back their ambitions of bringing their own tablets to market.

As DigiTimes reports, while the reasons behind the Xoom's lukewarm response were partially attributed to Motorola's brand image and the pricing of the Xoom, the other reasons lay fault to Google - an insufficient amount of applications for Android 3.0 and the unstable performance of its operating system. According to the report, Google has failed to offer sufficient support to its partners deploying Honeycomb, thus forcing two prominent Taiwanese companies to delay their tablet launch plans.

ASUS has reportedly postponed the launch of its 16 GB Eee Pad Transformer tablet to the end of this month and the 32 GB version will follow next month. Similarly, HTC will launch its Flyer tablets sometime in the second quarter, although part of the reasoning behind HTC's delays is its slow purchase of touch panels.

In the meantime, Motorola has supposedly only sold 100,000 Xoom units since its launch. In comparison, the iPad had a million units sold in its first month on the market. Perhaps Motorola is focusing more on the Xoom's successor, which should be released at a time when the issues surrounding Honeycomb are likely to be ironed out thoroughly.

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I'm getting really tired of reading all of these reviews crapping on the Motorola Xoom. Yes, the product initially sold at a price premium. That's what happens when you are an early adopter. There was clearly a pent up demand for the first Android Honeycomb device and Motorola felt they could charge a premium.

I knew that when I bought mine. If I wanted to wait until this Christmas, when there will be dozens of cheaper competitors, I could have, but I chose not to.

That said, I *LOVE LOVE LOVE* my Motorola Xoom. It is awesome. The fact that it has an operating system intentionally designed for tablets is amazing. It is fast, powerful, and feels like something a professional would use.

Sure, the Ipad is a nice form factor but, face it, it is nothing but a very large Iphone. It uses exactly the identical operating system. I already have an Iphone 4, that's why I refused to buy an Ipad which is literally, just that, a large Iphone 4 with fewer features.

Maybe before people write any more negative Motorola Xoom articles they should start talking to some actual Motorola Xoom owners. I find it hard to believe I'm the only one who loves his device!

I love my Xoom 3G/4G. I never listen to any reviews. Quite frankly I wanted a tablet device since last year. I bought this one because it's not an Apple product and it does more than Apple will ever do on it's most basic level.

I love not carrying my netbook around and being able to do everything on the Xoom that I used to do on my netbook is a huge plus. That includes viewing flash sites. I make fun of all the people I work with that have the iPad device because they never carry it with them. They know that the iPad is a novelty item for them where as I actually use mine everyday.

Second best purchase I made this year (HTC Thunderbolt being the first).

UK Xoom owner here. I think what has caused the issue with the Xoom is two fold:
1 - The marketing campaign, or lack thereof, was not widespread enough. Unless you followed tech sites/blogs/mags many here in the UK would not know of it. There has been no TV coverage at all, nothing on the radio, and no banners apart from on the DSG group websites. That's not great.

2 - The Honeycomb OS oozes potential but has a few flaws being such an immature platform. The fact that the source is not out has led to the stalling of many Honeycomb-centric apps with developers unable to test thoroughly against the platform (I am aware of the SDK but a quick google search shows that Devs are unlikely to use that platform for testing alone).

Having said all that I have a Xoom as I like the idea of the plethora of other areas of modification than on the iPad, and I'm entirely happy with it.

I can summarise as such: "If you buy a Motorola Xoom you will have a premium tablet with a good OS and with more features than an iPad, albeit with some early adoption niggles which might force less technical users into the purchase of an iPad instead".

Not sure why it says the Asus Transformer is delayed, I'm typing this on the 16gb version, delivered by comet two weeks ago.

bobcat said,
Not sure why it says the Asus Transformer is delayed, I'm typing this on the 16gb version, delivered by comet two weeks ago.

Yup, absolutely no truth in the comment about the eee pad, got mine here too, MoDaCo already have an owners group and rooted roms available. Total bilge.

And yes, for the money the Xoom can't compete with the iPad, the failure there is totally with Motorola. In the US the Xoom is marginally cheaper, but we're only talking about a difference which will buy a couple of hipsters their daily latte. In the UK prices are much closer.

Kill demand for the hardware and the ecosystem to develop apps will die with it. Motorola came in too high and as a result very few have taken Honeycomb seriously, add the debacle with the AOSP release and it's no surprise things are slow to get started. The eee pad on the other hand has the right price and spec to do well, delivering the other features which their principle competitor (apple) refuse to - connectivity and input devices.

Oh and on the note of ChromeOS to the commenters earlier up, if you were doing your homework or had a CR-48 (I do) rather than wildly speculating you'd know that recent builds of chromeOS have full multitouch for tablet implemented, it's a safe bet that it will be in a tablet form-factor soon.

Part of the problem is that we still don't know if there is a tablet market in general. All we know at this point is that there's a market for the iPad.

TechJunkie81 said,
Xoom or iPad 2 ? They're both Fisher Price toys compared to real PC's.

They're not meant as a full replacement for your Mac/PC.

TechJunkie81 said,
Xoom or iPad 2 ? They're both Fisher Price toys compared to real PC's.

I own a Motorola Xoom and it immediately replaced the Netbook PC I used to use when I traveled. Not to mention that fact that the Motorola Xoom is faster in every single way than the Netbook PC I had before. So, no, it doesn't knock out a desktop PC; but it sure makes a netbook seem redundant. I can use my Xoom in so many situations where I couldn't use a netbook simply because of the form factor. Try sitting a netbook on your treadmill while you work out; not gonna happen.

Its the end of Android on Tablets and on Phones. Between this failing and the failed updates that have plagued Android since its release, it is obvious that Android is a complete fail.

(I don't honestly think this for a second, but I wanted to give the anti-MS/WP7 people a moment to see how stupid this crap sounds when they say it about WP7.)

lol, xoom's price was a fail, thats about the only thing you said thats true. the price was just to high, I really dont know what motorola was thinking. honeycomb is a good tablet OS, the lack of tablet specific apps are part of any new OS.

thenetavenger said,
Its the end of Android on Tablets and on Phones. Between this failing and the failed updates that have plagued Android since its release, it is obvious that Android is a complete fail.

(I don't honestly think this for a second, but I wanted to give the anti-MS/WP7 people a moment to see how stupid this crap sounds when they say it about WP7.)

thenetavenger said,
Its the end of Android on Tablets and on Phones. Between this failing and the failed updates that have plagued Android since its release, it is obvious that Android is a complete fail.

(I don't honestly think this for a second, but I wanted to give the anti-MS/WP7 people a moment to see how stupid this crap sounds when they say it about WP7.)

Even Google realized that Android on tablets is a fail and is working on a tablet running ChromeOS.

thenetavenger said,
(I don't honestly think this for a second, but I wanted to give the anti-MS/WP7 people a moment to see how stupid this crap sounds when they say it about WP7.)

Once again you seem to be all worked up over nothing. People just don't "hate" MS anymore, it was cool to do it a few years ago, but those times have long passed. Most of us clearly like W7 and WP7. Even PC users with Android phones such as myself want WP7 to do well... it brings another competitor to the table, which is good for everyone. If your only purpose is to wind people up with your posts then you have succeeded. Congrats... now stop being a b*tch.

alexalex said,

Even Google realized that Android on tablets is a fail and is working on a tablet running ChromeOS.

My understanding is that Android has actually temporarily pushed Chrome OS aside. Expect the next release of Android to run on smartphones, tablets and Google TV, so there is just one version from then on... These are the rumours anyway.

Chrome OS I imagine has become a side project for the future.

thenetavenger said,
Its the end of Android on Tablets and on Phones. Between this failing and the failed updates that have plagued Android since its release, it is obvious that Android is a complete fail.

(I don't honestly think this for a second, but I wanted to give the anti-MS/WP7 people a moment to see how stupid this crap sounds when they say it about WP7.)

Lol at you in general, Android's market share is going through the roof, yeh mate it's really failing

SuperHans said,

My understanding is that Android has actually temporarily pushed Chrome OS aside. Expect the next release of Android to run on smartphones, tablets and Google TV, so there is just one version from then on... These are the rumours anyway.

Chrome OS I imagine has become a side project for the future.

You imagine wrong. Chrome OS is updated regularly.

alexalex said,

You imagine wrong. Chrome OS is updated regularly.

You're missing my point.

I never said it wasn't updated regularly..? I'm sure it is. What I mean is that the netbook market which Chrome OS was originally intended for not as "cool" anymore. Tablet are the "in" thing now, and Android has temporarily made Chrome OS redundant. Don't get me wrong, I think the concept of Chrome OS is great and I'm sure its time in the limelight will come.

I agree that the App Store (or whatever Google calls it) is the main difference. Technically the Xoom and many other non-Apple tablets are better: better Camera(s), better storage expandability, HDMI, etc. But Apple still is #Winning in that they have over 80000 apps that are specifically designed for the Tablet (either Universal or Tablet alone). BIG difference when you use your Tablet for productivity...

alan8it said,
I agree that the App Store (or whatever Google calls it) is the main difference. Technically the Xoom and many other non-Apple tablets are better: better Camera(s), better storage expandability, HDMI, etc. But Apple still is #Winning in that they have over 80000 apps that are specifically designed for the Tablet (either Universal or Tablet alone). BIG difference when you use your Tablet for productivity...

Well Developers would probably disagree with you on that Many big name Devlopers in the Games market like Id software and Epic games and even i am sure productivity like software Developers and Hospitals and many other areas would tell you the iPad itself is a far better Tablet then the other because of the rich echo system iOs is and the Development tools that are available.

sure the iPad 2 dont have HDMI built in it dont have expandable storage or Battery but when it comes down to it other will choose Reliability and usability over those 3 things and as is the iPad 2 can get well over 10hrs life out of it ona single charge if used constantly but agian the iPad 2 has a great echo system behind it and Developers have spoken . the iPad 2 just came out yet the Xoom was out a week before i think yet many schools chose the iPad 2 over the Xoom not because of Price but because of what it can do and ease of creative feature rich apps.

alan8it said,
I agree that the App Store (or whatever Google calls it) is the main difference. Technically the Xoom and many other non-Apple tablets are better: better Camera(s), better storage expandability, HDMI, etc. But Apple still is #Winning in that they have over 80000 apps that are specifically designed for the Tablet (either Universal or Tablet alone). BIG difference when you use your Tablet for productivity...

fragments is easy to use to port current apps.
dev will update their apps in no time.
If i can do it they can too

Everything that went into the Xoom killed the Xoom. I was so looking forward to it but Google/Moto/Verizon cannot pull a clean launch to save their lives.

**High pricing
**Late Wifi version
**No SDK until days before launch, how did they expect to have apps?
**No Flash at launch
**No working SD card (until it was added in Tiamat)
**NO SOURCE CODE - almost nulls the unlocked bootloader

They should've waited to release this. I know they wanted to beat the iPad to market but it was completely pointless, especially since it left a bad taste in our mouths.

Trong said,
Everything that went into the Xoom killed the Xoom. I was so looking forward to it but Google/Moto/Verizon cannot pull a clean launch to save their lives.

**High pricing
**Late Wifi version
**No SDK until days before launch, how did they expect to have apps?
**No Flash at launch
**No working SD card (until it was added in Tiamat)
**NO SOURCE CODE - almost nulls the unlocked bootloader

They should've waited to release this. I know they wanted to beat the iPad to market but it was completely pointless, especially since it left a bad taste in our mouths.

GPS source code is published
standard apps is working just not optimised
flash was launched 2 weeks later...
how is the price in US here it's 20$ cheaper than iPad2

As I read this I checked the Android Market on my Motorola Xoom tablet, and there are currently only 62 Tablet Specific applications available for the device. I am a huge fan of the device however, I have to agree there is a very large lack of supported applications which is a big letdown. Albeit you can install standard applications and most run without issue. It is nice to have a tablet specific version of an app so it does not feel out of place.

littleneutrino said,
As I read this I checked the Android Market on my Motorola Xoom tablet, and there are currently only 62 Tablet Specific applications available for the device. I am a huge fan of the device however, I have to agree there is a very large lack of supported applications which is a big letdown. Albeit you can install standard applications and most run without issue. It is nice to have a tablet specific version of an app so it does not feel out of place.

don't worry tablet compatible app are easy to do with fragment.
most of the app will update them in no time

littleneutrino said,
As I read this I checked the Android Market on my Motorola Xoom tablet, and there are currently only 62 Tablet Specific applications available for the device. I am a huge fan of the device however, I have to agree there is a very large lack of supported applications which is a big letdown. Albeit you can install standard applications and most run without issue. It is nice to have a tablet specific version of an app so it does not feel out of place.

That's not a full list of tablet apps, it's just a list of promoted ones. I have a bunch of apps that aren't on that list that run great and take up the full screen. Maybe they're not technically for Honeycomb, but I can't tell the difference to be honest.

I'll look at a Android table once they come down in price and sort the App situation out. Till then no way.

I like the look of the RIM os, looks betterr then Android, but again theres the App situation.

empty said,
The HTC flyer isn't even running honeycomb so I don't that thats causing the delay.

That's the thing, I think companies really need to think about their Tablet strategy. A tablet without Honeycomb is not even worth releasing.

Android Tablets this year are dead wait until next year. I really think the next versions of ios and Android and maybe even Windows 8 are going to be a lot more interesting.

Melfster said,
Android Tablets this year are dead wait until next year. I really think the next versions of ios and Android and maybe even Windows 8 are going to be a lot more interesting.

yeah this article is full of sh*t

I personally decided to go with an iPad, simply for the reason that Honeycomb isn't mature enough in my opinion to warrant buying. It was the same when Android first came onto phones - I tried it and didn't like it. Now that Android has matured, it's a really good OS, but like Android, Honeycomb will take time to get up to speed.

As someone who actually has a Xoom (unlike most of the people talking about it), most of the crap being talked about is simply not true. I mean sure its not got many specific apps. But it's not anymore unstable than previous android releases.

I still have the demo unit I used in the review...like i said then, it's not a bad tablet, it really isn't. But its not perfect either and when a consumer has a choice of an Apple iPad or a Xoom for about the same price...that's the problem.

I still believe that if you want to play with Apple, you have to beat their price point; you cant beat their brand image. That's not fanboyism, thats business sense.

bdsams said,
I still have the demo unit I used in the review...like i said then, its not a bad tablet, it really isn't. But its not perfect either and when a consumer has a choice of an Apple iPad or a Xoom for about the same price...that's the problem.

I still believe that if you want to play with Apple, you have to beat their price point; you cant beat their brand image. That's not fanboyism, thats business sense.


Well yea I knew neowin had one. I wasn't talking about you all. But for the most part the Xoom and the iPad are pretty close in price and spec. Less than a hundred dollars difference between both 32GB versions. Boz really summed it up pretty well in his comment above mine.

bdsams said,
I still have the demo unit I used in the review...like i said then, it's not a bad tablet, it really isn't. But its not perfect either and when a consumer has a choice of an Apple iPad or a Xoom for about the same price...that's the problem.

I still believe that if you want to play with Apple, you have to beat their price point; you cant beat their brand image. That's not fanboyism, thats business sense.


I purchased a Xoom, despite your review. And I really LOVE it. One feature that nobody seems to ever talk about that just blows Apple out of the water is WIDGETS. While the iPad just shows rows and rows of icons, the Xoom is capable of showing snapshots of things via widgets. For example, I have SportsTap on the front page and have it configured to show me the Buffalo Sabres and Minnesota Twins scores at a glance. I also have the CNN app, and it shows a picture and a headline of the top few articles. Same thing for the USA Today app. It's cool to have all of that information updated at a glance without having to actually go into an app/browser to check it out.

I don't regret my purchase at all - and I don't feel like I'm missing out on any apps. Plus, Amazon's Android App Store has been giving out a free app every day. Some are cool, some aren't (for me), but I prefer competition.

And as others have said - the Xoom IS cheaper than the iPad, if you compare 32G to 32G.

Fezmid said,

I purchased a Xoom, despite your review. And I really LOVE it. One feature that nobody seems to ever talk about that just blows Apple out of the water is WIDGETS. While the iPad just shows rows and rows of icons, the Xoom is capable of showing snapshots of things via widgets. For example, I have SportsTap on the front page and have it configured to show me the Buffalo Sabres and Minnesota Twins scores at a glance. I also have the CNN app, and it shows a picture and a headline of the top few articles. Same thing for the USA Today app. It's cool to have all of that information updated at a glance without having to actually go into an app/browser to check it out.

I don't regret my purchase at all - and I don't feel like I'm missing out on any apps. Plus, Amazon's Android App Store has been giving out a free app every day. Some are cool, some aren't (for me), but I prefer competition.

And as others have said - the Xoom IS cheaper than the iPad, if you compare 32G to 32G.

+1

I bought a XOOM and have been thoroughly enjoying the experience, I use it a lot more then I use to use my old iPad and part of the reason is its sleek and easy multitasking and the widgets.

hynesy said,

+1

I bought a XOOM and have been thoroughly enjoying the experience, I use it a lot more then I use to use my old iPad and part of the reason is its sleek and easy multitasking and the widgets.


+1 Same. Love my XOOM. I mod the crap out of it and can't wait until Google finally releases the source so that we can get some custom roms. It will be awesome to see what Cyanogenmod does with it.

Tony. said,
The price is what killed the Xoom.

LOL.. Xoom is certainly not dead..

and garbage reviews and lies and overblown Apple fanboy editors whiney reviews by still pondering iPad is what slowed down the sales of Xoom..

the tablet is not bad at ALL.. and certainly offers much much more even if there are a few kinks than iPad.. and I have both.

Tony. said,
The price is what killed the Xoom.

not with samsung galaxy tab 8.9 and 10.1... Its cheaper/thinner/lighter/feature rich than ipad2..
dont delay the new tab samsung.

Edited by still1, Apr 17 2011, 1:00am :

Tony. said,
The price is what killed the Xoom.
I don't know if the price "killed" it but the price is certainly hurting it. I was going to buy a Xoom until I saw the price tag. I guess Motorola was looking to cash in with all of the hype built around the Xoom. My plan is to wait it out and see how far down they come before deciding which way to go.

Boz said,

LOL.. Xoom is certainly not dead..

and garbage reviews and lies and overblown Apple fanboy editors whiney reviews by still pondering iPad is what slowed down the sales of Xoom..

the tablet is not bad at ALL.. and certainly offers much much more even if there are a few kinks than iPad.. and I have both.

Not really. Apple is a premium brand. Motorola isn't. Motorola priced the Xoom way higher than a premium brand tablet. The price has a huge impact in this case because no one would pay more for a non-premium brand tablet.

Tony. said,
The price is what killed the Xoom.

don't know for you but here the 32Gb Xoom is 20$ cheaper than iPad 2.
Xoom have camera flash , hardware GPS , 4 time the ram of iPad2 and better graphic performance than iPad2.

the problem with slow sales is because of the lack of publicity.

oh and another thing this article is false Toshiba will release their Tablet this months, Asus always said their target was for may.

RealFduch said,

Any proof?

cheapest ipad 2 (apple store): 4395sek. Cheapest Xoom (netonnet): 5990sek.

Thats $710 for ipad and $967.

but otoh, we cant realy translate sek (swedish kr) to us dollar right of the bat, but it still makes the ipad way cheaper. And most people tend to get the 16gb..

Tony. said,
The price is what killed the Xoom.

More like unprofessional management. Motorola is known for its very unprofessional management.