I am GREATLY disappointed in the fact that the Xoom is launching as only 1 version that is 3G only at $799 AND a mandatory 3G activation (for at least 1 month) to even be able to USE WIFI. This is absolutely asinine and will make the XOOM DOA! I voiced my displeasure to Motorola in the quoted email below:
"I have to say, as interested as I was in the Xoom, the recent information that there will be only configuration for $799 and that it will require a mandatory activation of 3G service to even ACTIVATE the wifi is absolutely ridiculous. You are killing the Xoom before it's even born. I say this as not only a possible consumer (and current Motorola Droid 1 user) but also as a marketing professional. You have shot yourself in the foot in both timing and lack of variety in selection
There is a HUGE groundswell of disappointment on all the Android and tech sites over the price and the forced "tax" to Verizon. Even the "dedicated" Android fans that would never buy an iPad are saying they will continue to wait for the LG Tab or even root a nook rather than pay for a premium tablet when a base model would do. Even though these Android fans are important, they are NOT the primary customers that will make this a success or you would not have spent $3 Million to buy one ad in the superbowl. You want "the masses" to see this as the first true competitor to the iPad and to give it a try. It IS the first real competitor to it but having only ONE price and requiring customers sign up for a monthly service (even if you can cancel it after one month) is ridiculous and will keep potetial customers away. Even Apple realized that if they set it too high, they wouldn't sell as prolifically as they have and would have another "niche" product that had potential but most folks wouldn't consider. Having a starting price that's HIGHER than Apple's comparable iPad is going to kill it.
Also, I predict this. now that there is a firm "launch" date, Apple will have it's iPad 2 event on Feb 22. 2 Days before people can buy Xoom. They will show an iPad that has almost all the same features, dual core A5 processor, dual cameras, Retina display level screen, SD card slot, 32GB built in memory, 12 hour battery, Airplay, facetime, etc, all the "problems" the Xoom brags about over the iPad 1, and all starting at $499. This will freeze the potential "swing buyers" and kill the sales in their tracks. People that MIGHT have bought it will wait another 2 weeks to buy the new iPad 2. Consumers see the iPad as the standard bearer and all other tablets, no matter how good techies might know they are, as copy cats. The only way a new tablet will be remotely competitive is if ISN'T more expensive and can sway the general populace that it is at least as good if not better for the same price. The best selling iPad is the lowest price. Parents buy them for kids so they don't have to pay another fee to use it. College kids buy it because all the dorms, classes and coffee shops have WiFi. Most of the "gifted" iPads are wifi only.
Take this from a person that is in marketing for a living, a technology buff and both an Apple and Android fan. Motorola is making a BIG mistake with it's entry into the tablet market without having at least 2 models. You need one at $599 that has wifi only and 16 GB internal memory with all other specs being the same and the one that has been announced. It would give you 2 good solid competitors in to price ranges that widen the potetial market and that have at least SOME chance of fending off the iPad 2.
I'm predicting the launch will be MAYBE 30-50k sold the first weekend, 110,000 the first week and MAYBE 200,000 by the time iPad 2 launches then sales will die before they hit 1,000,000 pieces because no standard consumer will buy the "copy" (which, face-it, the general populace will see this as) when they can buy a "real iPad" for less. Parents, casual shoppers, etc will NEED matching pricepoints before they will remotely consider it.
I would buy one opening weekend if they had the $599 one, but I'm not paying an extra $220 for a function I don't need or want and another monthly service that could be accomplished tethering or bluetooth by a service I'm already paying for. If you put out a $599 that seamlessly tethers with other Motorola android devices, you will sell more than you can make. If you lock to this "one model" only strategy, it will not compete. don't wait too long to release the wifi only, or you will regret it."