Motorola ships only 440,000 Xoom tablets

At the start of the year, Motorola had a great platform to release the Xoom. Running Android 3.1 (Honeycomb), and boasting an nVidia Tegra 2 running at 1GHz, the Xoom could have sold much more respectably. It was going to be the flagship Android tablet, and it would have ensured Google's promotion of the Xoom. However, things turned out rather differently.

As ZDNet reports, Motorola released their financial results earlier this week. In those results the company admits to having only shipped 440,000 Xoom tablets. Owing to that being the number of tablets shipped there is no guarantee that 440,000 tablets were even sold. In an environment where Apple seems to be able to sell every iPad manufactured, it is difficult to immediately tell why the Xoom has had such a disappointing run.

The Xoom was heavily promoted for some features that would, theoretically, make it superior to the iPad. However, these features fell flat. Initially, the Xoom was advertised for its ability to experience the web like on a desktop computer, thanks to Flash. This was not to be the case when the Xoom released. The Flash software was not ready at the launch of the Xoom; a later update finally allowed buyers to make use of this heavily-promoted feature.

Android 3.1 also caused issues for Motorola's Xoom. It was buggy and was prone to crashing, but this was not Motorola's fault. At release the Xoom ran the stock Android ROM, so blame for this mishap has to be levelled at Google. Honeycomb meant that reviewers bashed the Xoom's performance due to poor optimization, as well as stating it was prone to crashing. Even now, typing on Google "Why is my Xoom" results in the suggested search of "Why is my Xoom so slow?", as can be seen below. Early adopters of the Xoom in particular had issues with the tablet's performance, as optimization updates were not yet available.

Another feature of the Xoom that Motorola promoted was its inclusion of a memory card reader. This meant that a MicroSD card could be slotted into the Xoom, and allow for theoretically infinite memory. It did not work out this way, when it was discovered at launch that the reader did not work. It took Motorola months to release an update to make the memory card reader in the tablet usable. The memory card reader was promoted frequently by Motorola, who intended to get 'one-up' on Apple's iPad 2, which did not include a memory card reader. At launch, the Xoom effectively did not include one either. It was only towards the end of June that the reader was fixed in an update; an update which was not released in the United States initially. Unsurprisingly, American owners of the Xoom were vocal about their issues with the tablet, prompting Motorola to tweet the following message:

“Google is refining the SD card solution for U.S.-based Motorola XOOM devices & we’ll share timing info as soon it’s available”

Finally, Verizon's advertisement of the Xoom managed to do nothing for the tablet. The advertisement campaign for the Xoom did not explain why consumers should be purchasing one of the tablets, and its main selling point was the Verizon 4G LTE network, which was coming soon. The Xoom is yet to be able to come to the 4G network due to an upgrade that is yet to happen the tablets. The upgrade is now expected in September; months after the Xoom released with the ad campaign. Samsung has already beaten the 'flagship' Android tablet to the mark, as their latest tablet supports 4G LTE.

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I'm not surprised by this at all. When I bought mine, I knew it wasn't going to have access to the SD Card right away, and the lack of 4G hardware. But I did buy it knowing that this was going to be the de facto Honeycomb reference device. I am quite happy with it. But for your average user who doesn't want an iPad, I would recommend the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the Transform.

I find it interesting that Android hasnt taken off tablet wise. Apple essentially owns this product segment right now.

Joe05 said,
I find it interesting that Android hasnt taken off tablet wise. Apple essentially owns this product segment right now.
Personally I think it's because of the app market place and performance. Yes there are a huge number of apps on the Android market but they're not as rigorously checked as the Apple app store which means they could be security risks or contain malware or other nonsense. Yes it sucks that Apple has an iron grip on its app store but people trust the Apple app store as a result.

Second, it's my opinion that the performance of the Android tablets isn't good enough. I've never played around with a Xoom but I've spent hours in Best Buy and Office Max playing with the Android tablets and none of the dozen tablets that I sampled were as fluid and seamless as the iPad. I really wanted to buy an Android tablet but I couldn't find one that was as responsive as my daughter's iPad 1 so ultimately when it came time to buy mine I ended up going with the iPad 2. The Xoom looked awesome and looked like it had silky smooth performance but it was just too much money. Oh well. Maybe when next year comes and it's time to buy a new tablet the Xoom or something comparable will be aggressively priced and have the latest Android OS.

main reasons are lack of assembling facilities (therefore lack of worldwide availability) and poor management. most world have no motorola products at all, as they closed down and stopped ships to many countries in 2010 and 2011.


galaxy tab 10.1 isn't yet available worldwide

two only available worldwide android 3.x tablets are acer iconia tab and asus eee pad transformer.

Considering the opening sentence is wrong (the Xoom shipped with Android 3.0), it makes me wonder how much serious research was put in this by the author.

Also it's worth nothing that the SD slot was functionnal months ago for anyone willing to flash a custom kernel. Granted it's not for everyone, but worth mentionning if you want to have a properly balanced article.

RMerlin said,
Considering the opening sentence is wrong (the Xoom shipped with Android 3.0), it makes me wonder how much serious research was put in this by the author.e.

What's wrong, it ships with 3.1 now doesn't it? If not I can understand why people aren't buying it.

.Neo said,

What's wrong, it ships with 3.1 now doesn't it? If not I can understand why people aren't buying it.

There is nothing wrong with it shipping with 3.1 (now), but the way the sentence started off by saying at the beginning of the year which only 3.0 was available. It's a minor overlook but something I also spotted as well.

The main problem the Xoom had and people cannot argue this was the stupid high price. The Asus Transformer (which I have) is about £100 less than the Xoom but is basically the same internals. There was no reason to price it as high as they did.

Tony. said,

The main problem the Xoom had and people cannot argue this was the stupid high price. The Asus Transformer (which I have) is about £100 less than the Xoom but is basically the same internals. There was no reason to price it as high as they did.
Exactly. That was exactly what I was thinking while reading the article. I wanted the Xoom but the price was way too high and I wasn't thinking about doing any contract. Ultimately I ended up with the iPad2 because I knew the platform and had success with my iPhone4. I wasn't willing to pay the premium to go with a very cool looking albeit untested platform. Maybe if they drop the price by about 30% then I'd pick one up.

I am one of those early adopters of the Xoom, and can report with confidence that I've had no problems of the sort mentioned here.

It's not slow. Apps crash just as frequently as they do on my Droid (which is very rarely). The only real problems this thing had, were biased reviewers and poor marketing.

SharpGreen said,
I am one of those early adopters of the Xoom, and can report with confidence that I've had no problems of the sort mentioned here.

It's not slow. Apps crash just as frequently as they do on my Droid (which is very rarely). The only real problems this thing had, were biased reviewers and poor marketing.

same here,
only crash I've seen is alarm clock plus when you put vibrate on, the xoom have no vibrate function so the interface crash but it is still doing it's job.

everyone at work also will now look into Android Slate now that they seen the os in action

+1

There's some APPS that crash from time to time -- CNN was terrible at first, but has been updated and is much more stable now. The ESPN app sucked too, so I replaced it with something else. But none of these are related to the platform, only to the developer of specific apps.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm one of the few who got a "good" one or if most people just don't know what they're doing....

This is why you should wait before purchasing the first generation of anything (unless you like taking the risk). Look at the new tablets now, especially the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for example. Way faster and smoother, plus has a ton of optimizations.

Lexcyn said,
This is why you should wait before purchasing the first generation of anything (unless you like taking the risk). Look at the new tablets now, especially the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for example. Way faster and smoother, plus has a ton of optimizations.

Gtal 10.1 is not faster than the XOOM not with 3.2
Gtab have the same internal and a plastic frame

NesTle said,

Gtal 10.1 is not faster than the XOOM not with 3.2
Gtab have the same internal and a plastic frame

With touchwiz it is, I own both and Touchwiz significantly increases the smoothness

Fezmid said,
Typing in "Why is my iPad" brings up "so slow" as well....

Well the first autocomplete is actually "not recharging". The second one is "so slow".
But yes, the author obviously hadn't looked in to that

sure the Xoom sold 440k, the GT 10.1 is 10x better even not having an SD card, although it does have its problems too (Samsung takes forever for OTA!).

danisflying527 said,
sure the Xoom sold 440k, the GT 10.1 is 10x better even not having an SD card, although it does have its problems too (Samsung takes forever for OTA!).

galaxy tab 10.1 and 8.9 lacks of microusb charge and usb host. both are very important to me.

coth said,

galaxy tab 10.1 and 8.9 lacks of microusb charge and usb host. both are very important to me.


There are accessories available to make it a USB host. Its just $19.99

Julius Caro said,
kind of unsurprising

and everyone is talking about how the playbook was a flop which shipped 500,000 in its first month vs 440,000 in its first how ever many months.. It almost seems like the playbook is doing fairly well compared to the non-apple tablets.. I wonder how the touchpad will fair ..

it just sucks cause most companies scrap support when they sell so few

Lachlan said,

and everyone is talking about how the playbook was a flop which shipped 500,000 in its first month vs 440,000 in its first how ever many months.. It almost seems like the playbook is doing fairly well compared to the non-apple tablets.. I wonder how the touchpad will fair ..

it just sucks cause most companies scrap support when they sell so few


LOL, your understanding of things made me laugh. Shipping does not mean sold.

On a side note, BlackBerry is a company that's dying. They keep losing Market Share and financially they are not doing well in terms of profit. When will they be cheap enough for someone like Google or Microsoft to buy them out?