The Fuzzy Treatment: State of the Zoom Today.

Discussion in 'Android News' started by furbearingmammal, Mar 6, 2011.

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  1. furbearingmammal
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    furbearingmammal DF Super Moderator

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    The Fuzzy Treatment: State of the Xoom Today.

    Originally posted here The Fuzzy Treatment: State of the Xoom Today on 2/26 -- check out Xoom Forum - Motorola Xoom Forum for updates to the information included in this story.

    So, the Xoom has been released and is in the hands of the masses. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! The first 4G tablet in Verizon's line released to the world + dog. The first "full" 4G device in Verizon's lineup released period since the Thunderbolt is still floating somewhere in the clouds, waiting to strike as soon as that pesky battery problem is worked out.

    But wait, there's more. Even if you live in an area with 4G/LTE, have a contract, and your tablet shows a lovely 4-bar signal, you're still out of luck using LTE -- you're on the vanilla, plain, boring, ordinary 3G network.

    Wait a minute, what?

    It's true. Verizon and Motorola are shipping the 4G version of the Xoom without 4G capability. Doesn't that strike you as a bit, well, wrong? It does me. But keep holding, it's about to get better.

    In order to get 4G on your device -- that pricey 4G you're paying for unless you dropped $800 on the puppy in the first place -- you're going to have to ship it off to get a 4G modem installed. While this is at no cost to you, the owner, this means you're going to be without a tablet to use that lovely service for a week. That's seven to eight days that you're paying for service that you can't use, just to get something they're using as a selling point. Sound like the Microsoft model of software? Push it then patch it till it works. This is taken directly from the Microsoft, er, Verizon Wireless page linked directly above.

    So, Verizon, Motorola, etc, are not only charging $800 for these things (a $200 premium over the WiFi-only version that still has no release date), they're selling them crippled, and they're making you pay for a week of service you can't use if you didn't shell out the full price. That's three strikes, as far as I'm concerned. But it gets better.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That's where the modem should be -- what you're seeing there is a placeholder card. The folks over at iFixit have already disassembled the Xoom and, other than fifty-seven tiny screws, have declared this to be remarkably easy to repair. This means (in their estimation) that it would take about ten minutes for a trained professional to tear this thing down, insert a modem, and put it back together. Now add in another ten minutes to fire it up and test it and you have an estimate of twenty minutes to get it working.

    Six business days to do twenty minutes worth of work, not including the FedEx shipping costs, when if they'd just ship the device with the blasted modems installed in the first place they wouldn't be putting users out AND they'd be saving themselves all that money. Rumor seems to have the ship date of the first true LTE-enabled Xooms to be between one and three months, right about the time the WiFi-only Xoom has been rumored to be released. Sound like strikes four and five to me, maybe even six.

    The news is not all bad, however. As reported earlier by member Wicked, Verizon finally dropped that stupid 1-month requirement to buy the only version of the device they were releasing. Of course, it's also possible their lawyers finally got through to someone in Finance and told them forcing users to buy service that 99% of the population isn't anywhere they can use, especially when they're paying full-retail for the device was class-action-suit-worthy, and they'd lose big if they persisted, but I'm going to go with the idea that the immediate financial consideration probably won out, especially when you consider what Verizon is spending to advertise the device. No matter how you look at it, this is a good thing for the end consumer, and anything that's good for the consumer is good for the business selling them products. Koush (of ROM Manager fame) has already rooted the Xoom, and the device has already been overclocked with pleasant results, not to mention the bootloader is unlockable and apparently currently unlocked. Hopefully the locks won't come down any time soon -- or at all.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I think the Xoom is awesome and if I could afford one (or someone gave me one), I'd rock that thing's socks off. It's uber-geeky, the hardware can't be touched by anything else currently on the market, the software is so rump-kicking it's starting to smell, and with 4G it's faster than the proverbial speeding bullet! However, at $50/month for 5GB of 4G, that's going to get as costly as an errantly-fired bullet once you've been downloading for more than 32 minutes. So let's take a look at another opinion.

    Memo to iPad mimics: No one wants a $799 knockoff ? The Register

    $50/month for 5GB of 4G = 32 minutes of full-bore data use. I want to stress that point. 5GB is a totally unrealistic cap for data that fast. It's like driving a supercharged 1971 Mach-1 retrofitted with a 2-gallon gas tank. It just doesn't make sense.

    And in the end, it's still not an iPad in a world where everyone thinks Apple and iOS rules. As The Reg article states, Android has to be cheaper than Apple if it's going to compete. It doesn't matter if it's better. Right now Apple is the brand to beat, and the only way that matters to most people at first is the cost.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  2. thedefectkid
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    thedefectkid Member

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    Im sorry but this is just wrong why would they even ship it without the 4g chip...they really should see how many fails they have done with the XOOM I was really interested in it but after coming to realize its just not what I though it would be Im holding off till the end of the year.
  3. DroidMastar2
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    DroidMastar2 Member

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    I completely agree... I was gonna hop on the wifi only version... but I feel that their product seems a lil bit "unfinished". Guess i will have to focus on that asus slider tab.
  4. carlz28
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    carlz28 Premium Member Theme Developer Premium Member

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    Don't worry. Honeycomb has its own shortcomings.
    Just bought my "full-version" XOOM today for full price (no contract). (Minus manager @ BestBuy discount :p)
    While the device is very nice, sturdy, seems to be made with great quality, it definitely could use some refinement. And as I mentioned in the first line, Honeycomb is nothing sooo dramatic over any other version Google has released. I know its an OS for tablets, but there's really nothing super awesome/jaw-dropping about it. I don't regret my purchase, but I'm not thoroughly impressed.
  5. rlarson_mn
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    rlarson_mn Member

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    Just goes to support upgrading my IPad original to IPad 2 instead of getting q Xoom!
  6. furbearingmammal
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    furbearingmammal DF Super Moderator

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    When APPLE starts competing based on price you know there's a problem. :) That problem? The Xoom.

    Once these manufacturing, ahem, issues get worked out and the software bugs get fixed, the Xoom is going to SHINE. However, with Apple having the brand recognition Motorola's going to be playing catchup the whole time unless prices drastically drop -- and soon.
  7. jaycemiskel
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    jaycemiskel Active Member

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    I don't really think Apple is competing on price. Apple pretty much sets how much they'll charge for something and then sticks to their price. When the new stuff comes out the prices of the old stuff goes down. Nothing shocking or surprising about that....

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
  8. furbearingmammal
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    furbearingmammal DF Super Moderator

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    If Apple were so sure of themselves with this one they wouldn't be making so many concessions to the carriers and they would have raised the price. The total lack of 4G/LTE and HSPA+ in even the iPhone, let alone the iPad -- and the fact that none is on the horizon till the middle of 2012 -- means Apple was caught off-guard, and in order to shore up some of the damage to the Apple-Is-King dam that keeps people from jumping ship, they're not pushing like they would have if the Xoom were just another Galaxy Tab or crummy ripoff. :)

    The iPad/iPhone/iPad 2 are all solid pieces of hardware, with a solid OS. But the iPad 2 is already outclassed, and as the year progresses it's going to be outclassed even further. So Apple, realizing this, is doing what it can.

    Knock a hundred bucks off the Xoom's price and I think we'd actually see Apple cry. :)
  9. jaycemiskel
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    jaycemiskel Active Member

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    Android tablets are the ones not competing on price. At least not yet. I really don't think Apple is worried about the Xoom. If I were them, I know I wouldn't be. Until they are more competitively priced there's no reason for Apple to be worried. If they want to steal market share they don't need to match or go over Apple's pricing. They need to BEAT it.
  10. jaycemiskel
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    jaycemiskel Active Member

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    What concessions has Apple made? Also, what other products has Apple raised the price on when they released a new one?
  11. furbearingmammal
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    furbearingmammal DF Super Moderator

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    Carrier-locked phones come to mind. The iPhone used to be totally unlocked, at least in every other country, and now (just to grab an example) in Canada every carrier that carries the iPhone now has a phone that's locked into that carrier.

    Now let's look at the tech side of things. I'm going to take this from an article that explains it fairly well and is a lot faster than trying to type it out.
    We're both familiar with the AT&T iPhone and that Verizon now has their own version of the iPhone, but the lack of a Gobi-type feature being included in, say, the VeriPhone or the iPad 2 means these remain locked into their respective carriers. That's not a concession?

    These are carefully-crafted, consumer-transparent maneuvers to please the carriers who are moving more and more to Android phones to flush out their portfolios of phones, rather than continuing to slip into bed with Apple.

    So, as more and more users get disillusioned with Apple and the slow growth of the hardware when they see Android phones and tablets rocketing into the stars with speed and features and, let's face it, models to fit individuals instead of Apples one-side-kinda-fits-all approach, something has to give. In this case, it's Apple not raising the price even though their prices are rising -- this says it's not looking quite as good for Apple as they had planned. Eventually the inertia that continues to carry Apple forward is going to run out; they realize this.
  12. jaycemiskel
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    jaycemiskel Active Member

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    I guess I never really thought of that as a concession. Thought maybe they were just waiting until the iPhone 5 to utilize it, but that's a good point. A subtle concession but a concession nonetheless. As for the price thing, I still have a hard time believing they ever planned to raise the price on the iPad. I believe whether the Xoom had come out or not it would have been priced the same. That's just their model. They buy so much at once they're probably getting a great deal on the parts so they're probably still making a killing off of each one that they sell.
  13. dfuser312553
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    dfuser312553 Silver Member

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    Good job furr. Concise yet thorough
  14. furbearingmammal
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    furbearingmammal DF Super Moderator

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    Actually, Foxconn is raising/has raised their price to Apple as well as everyone else. I wish I could dig up the link for you, but I can't find it (the price of using two different browsers on my computer). :)

    But yeah, I respect Apple holding the line on pricing even though their costs are going up. Props to them for that, even if it is more about them maintaining sales than looking after their customers -- for whatever reason, it's better for the end user, and I'm ALL about that. :D
  15. furbearingmammal
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    furbearingmammal DF Super Moderator

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    Thank you, sir! :)