Thoughts on the XOOM From an Average Consumer

Discussion in 'Motorola Xoom' started by ArrTooDeeToo, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. ArrTooDeeToo

    ArrTooDeeToo Member

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    These are my thoughts on all of the news regarding the Motorola XOOM, more specifically the recent news regarding price.

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    The Motorola XOOM made a huge splash at CES a few weeks ago, immediately creating a buzz across the internet. It even took home Best in Show. Everything was looking up and people (including myself) were very excited. The hardware specs look great, and so does the software (Android 3.0 Honeycomb.) Finally, something that will be able to compete with the tablet-market-hogging iPad and continue Android's rise to the top of the game, all while bringing in a few dollars to Motorola.

    But then the news hit that the XOOM would cost $800 (or is it $700?) without a contract. The internet went nuts, and one poll from droid-life showed that 90% (of over 8,000) said it was too expensive. That doesn't bode to well for Moto's sales, does it? In fact, their Q4 earnings report for 2010 has just hit the net, and even they admit it will be a rocky road ahead. But it doesn't have to be that way, Moto! The XOOM could boost your earnings if you had played your cards a little more like Apple did.

    On the surface, the $700-$800 price might look steep, but it's actually not too far off when being compared to an iPad of the same caliber. The specs justify the price, and if I could afford it, I would be first in line to get it on launch day. Unfortunately, that isn't the case for me (and apparently most of the people who were waiting for the XOOM.) Maybe a few years ago when the economy didn't suck so bad, but not today. So, it's not necessarily the price of the XOOM that will cause it to fail in the end.

    The mistake Motorola is making is, as I mentioned earlier, not playing the game like Apple did. Apple not only set a bar with specs, durability, cosmetic appeal and general usability of the iPad, but also introduced the iPad in a way that made it accessible to just about everyone. Making the tablet available in tiered models wasn't only smart, but it was a pro-consumer move that went against what people thought Apple was about (that being, high priced gadgets reserved for the elite fanboy). There have been polls and statistics that show that most people prefer the lower priced models (WiFi only and 16GB 3G version). So, how can Motorola think that releasing the XOOM with only one option is a smart idea? The iPad already rules the tablet world, and the XOOM is the first chance anyone has to seriously challenge the iPad's throne. That being said, Moto should have made plans to release the XOOM in some way that would make it available to everyone. Many people on the internet are hoping for a WiFi only model, which would be cheaper due to the lack of a 3G radio. Even selling the XOOM with 16GB as opposed to 32GB would help, but we only have one choice. The expensive version. That is unless you want to be tied to a 2 year contract and buy it subsidized, but that really doesn't save the buyer any money. In fact, it will cost more (around $1,200-$1,300 total over 2 years), and no one in their right mind wants to have a second contract on top of the money they're already locked into for a smartphone data plan. It's been said that Verizon doesn't require a contract for mobile devices other than phones, and the XOOM will only stand a chance being successful in subsidy if this is true. That's what Apple did with the iPad, and it seems to work very well.

    I really hope we hear some good news before launch for the sake of the Android tablets in general, but also for Moto's sake. I like the company and have owned several of their products over the years (the original Droid is a fantastic piece of technology) and have no doubt that the XOOM is going to be a nice product. I may disagree with locked bootloaders and Motoblur, but that aside, Motorola does make some nice stuff. Unfortunately, if the XOOM fails as it seems set up to be, then the market will belong to Apple and their iPad2 (which arrives just a month after the XOOM), as well as a boatload of cheaper Honeycomb tablets soon to arrive in Q2. At this point it looks as if most of the people who were psyched up about the XOOM are now planning on waiting for a cheaper alternative, or save up a little more than what the XOOM will cost and buy a Macbook or a nice desktop. Motorola still has a chance to even the playing field with Apple if the act quickly and make plans for an entry level XOOM tablet that will do well in an economic slump. Let's hope we see such a device at launch in Feb/early March.
     
  2. mwhartman

    mwhartman Super Moderator/RS Premium Member

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    I had planned on purchasing a Xoom as soon as they were available. However, I am not willing to anti up $700 or $800.

    Mike
     
  3. ArrTooDeeToo

    ArrTooDeeToo Member

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    I wish I had time to compile a count of every person on the internet who has said just that. In fact, this is what I see most.

    "I was so ready to buy it, but it's too freakin' expensive!"

    "Psh! $800? I think I'll go buy a nice laptop for a few bones more!"

    "The XOOM is so expensive! Motorola has made up my mind! iPad2 it is, and only one more month to wait!"

    "At that price, Motorola can take a hike! I'm going to get a Toshiba or Asus tablet!"

    This is why they need an entry level version on the initial release date. Not two months later. It'll be too late then!
     
  4. ckeegan

    ckeegan Member

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    First of all, we don't know if the $799 or $699 price is accurate. They came from Best Buy (where we've seen two different prices) and a leaked Verizon MAP doc (which I could have typed in excel by the way), and neither price indicated whether or not there will be "instant savings" or mail-in rebates.​

    I personally think it's somewhat stupid that Apple has 6 different versions of the iPad, from a cost standpoint. Why not just put 3G in all of them, since the consumer is not required to sign-up for a data plan anyway? Based on their markup, they could easily have afforded to do so. $129 for a 3G radio is ridiculous, but they obviously wouldn't let AT&T brand it (ah, communism), which would have greatly reduced the cost.​

    What if the Xoom came out at $699 - $100 (instant savings or MIR), making it $599? I mean no one seriously could have expected this thing to launch for less than that. If they did, to be blunt, they're idiots. ​

    Samsung's half-assed attempt at a tablet was $600 at launch, and they sold a million units inside of 6 weeks or so. That was easily half the specs of the Xoom, ran Froyo w/ TouchWiz, and had little hope for ever seeing an update, for $600.​

    Anyway, if it comes out at $699, I'm buying one. If it comes out at $799, I'm buying one. Either way, I'll have a Xoom on launch day, and I certainly won't be the only one. If the average consumer wants an average tablet, look elsewhere, because this certainly isn't your average tablet.​
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  5. h1br1d7heory

    h1br1d7heory Member

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    Thank you so much ckeegan. I could not have said it better myself. Launch day (hopefully sooner than later) I WILL HAVE ONE.
     
  6. Darksthour

    Darksthour Member

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    Honestly I don't see the point of any tablet for any casual user. I mean if you want mobility at a cheap price get a netbook. If you want something with power get a laptop for about the same price as the xoom/ipad2. The only netbook that intrigued me was the acer slider. That actually seemed cool. Now I'm saying this from the standpoint of never seeing Honeycomb in action. When it comes out and if it has some more features than your average smartphone os that would justify spending 700 bucks on a larger version of something I already own then I would consider it. Until then the tablet pc is something people buy to say "hey look at me I have a lot of money and like to buy useless things!" Just my two cents and my point of view.
    Sent from my Droid using DroidForums App
     
  7. h1br1d7heory

    h1br1d7heory Member

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    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, for the business professional, like myself, a tablet like the Xoom makes doing business for me much more convenient than a traditional laptop. It's mobility I am paying for. Mobility that the netbook I already own does not offer. With the Xoom I will have EVERYTHING I need right at my fingertips much quicker than my netbook can ever offer. In my opinion.
     
  8. Darksthour

    Darksthour Member

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    Yes I agree for business professionals I can see getting one. However I'm talking about the casual user.

    Sent from my Droid using DroidForums App
     
  9. KZIWarrior

    KZIWarrior Silver Member

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    ^This,
    Phone <$200
    Good laptop ~$800
    to spend anything near the $800 for something that doesn't do anything more than the $200 phone is, well read above... Now, if indeed HoneyComb does bring something useful or changes the game considerably (which it WON'T) than that's different. But for now for those prices they just are worth it. Dell Duo is <$500 now and similar specs. Just too many cheaper/better alternatives out there (particularly the NetBooks).
     
  10. h1br1d7heory

    h1br1d7heory Member

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    It is still a matter of opinion and preference. IMO Android > Windows. So if a casual user would like a device with a larger screen (10"+) that runs Android then the Xoom is a perfect option. I don't currently know of a netbook that is more powerful than the Xoom and runs Android.
     
  11. EgooEspada

    EgooEspada Member

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    You guys are all right about the pricing and the how theres not much of a way to justify the price in its current state. But you guys aren't thinking like the average consumer.

    People think tablets can replace a net-book, and in some cases it does. You have no idea how many times I've had people consider an iPad over a netbook with higher end specs and a full fledged OS with "applications" with no limits. Also, the sales of the iPad prove that people feel tablets can replace netbooks.

    As for pricing, its more or less the same as the iPad 3G 32GB model, but not everyone buys that model. Theres only going to be the 3G/4G 32GB tablet and the WiFi 32GB tablet. From what I've seen, most people buy the 16GB, 32GB WiFi models and about 16GB 3G model. The Motorola Xoom competitively fights these prices by offer a 2yr contract for the Xoom 3G/4G 32GB tablet priced the same as the WiFi 16GB tablet. I know many of us don't like being stuck in a contract, especially for 2yrs, but the average person would sign a contract to walk out with the device at a cheaper price. They don't do research and they don't always think long term. They have done it with smartphones and they will do it with tablets.
     
  12. Dusty

    Dusty Premium Member Premium Member

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    I'm on the fence about the Xoom myself. On one hand it has more than I need. I don't care about 3G or 4G capabilities since it will spend it's life tethered. 32GB onboard seems like over kill since it has expandable storage. But on the other hand, it has specs that are simply pants tightening.

    I purchased an iPad for my fiancee's birthday last October, I use it far more than she does, and I know that a tablet is right for me. I've been tucking away spare cash in $50 to $100 clips for months, so buying it is almost like it's free. But the cheap SOB inside me keeps asking... is it really worth $700? I know I could spend $200 less and still be happy (more or less) with an iPad with slightly lesser specs... and buy accessories to boot. Even with all of the things I love about the Xoom and Android I find it hard to commit.

    If this is the actual price point for the Xoom it's going to shoot itself in the foot. The majority of iPads sold are the garden variety base models which are $200 less. What this means is that even though better specs are available; this price seems to be acceptable when compared to capabilities. Yes, I know... you CANNOT compare the Xoom to the base iPad, but obviously the base iPad is the most popular choice out of the Apple tablet lineup even though better specs are available.

    The lion's share of buzz regarding tablet computing is about Apple products. What this means is that outside of our community the iPad is the default among consumers when the term "tablet" is mentioned. Quality Android tablets are an entire years worth of development behind Apple. What unknown bugs could be lurking under the Xoom's new skin? The iPad2 is coming and you can bet that improvements are going to be made which will lessen the technological gap between the two.

    I think that the only chance for success for the Xoom is for it to have an insane amount of bang-for-the-buck to break the Apple stranglehold. I honestly think people are going to balk at it in bunches at the current price point. They already do that for an established tablet that's been available for a year now. Moto may be pricing themselves into a niche of a niche, and that's not where the money is.

    I'm close to getting the Xoom... But damn if I can't definitively decide. Maybe I'm being overly cheap but $800 can get me an iPad, a 2 year warranty from SquareTrade, a nice cover, and a dock. As opposed to just a Xoom... period.

    Maybe I'm just thinking about it too much.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  13. h1br1d7heory

    h1br1d7heory Member

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    I would like to see the leak that details the requirement of a 2 year contract. As far as we know EVERYTHING is rumor. The Galaxy Tab isn't on contract with Verizon, and if anything, it can be assumed neither will the Xoom.
     
  14. ArrTooDeeToo

    ArrTooDeeToo Member

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    I'm also waiting on clarification on this. As I said in my OP, people keep saying that VZW doesn't require a contract on anything but phones. Let's hope that's true! If it cuts the cost to buy on a month to month contract, I'm all for it! There are some months where I'm on the road for several weeks at a time, and would love to have the option to dump another $30 on my VZW account for a XOOM, but for the most part, I'm at home and I could do without the extra data plan.

    However, I'm worried this won't be the case with the XOOM. The argument about the Galaxy tab doesn't hold water for one reason. It's not an exclusive Verizon device. You can get it on multiple carriers. Same with the iPad. Since the XOOM is exclusive to VZW, they can be greedy and lock you in to a contract if they want to because it's their baby, and you can't get it anywhere else.

     
  15. ckeegan

    ckeegan Member

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    Verizon doesn't even offer 1 or 2 year contracts for the Galaxy Tab or iPad/MiFi, your only option is month-to-month data, which can be canceled at any time. Why assume that a contract would be required, or even offered, for the Xoom?

    Unless you're referring to used models on eBay (which go for about $450 16GB/WiFi), the cheapest new iPad you can get is $499 for the 16GB/WiFi model.

    Month-to-month data wouldn't drop the price of the Xoom, since it's not technically a contract. I do agree with you though, because when I am on the road, I plan on activating a data plan for the month. In fact, I'm hitting the road a couple weeks after the Xoom comes out, so I plan on buying it with the 3GB/$35 plan.

    Maybe everyone would have been happier if the Xoom came out for $299, and required a 2-year agreement. The average consumer is relatively stupid, so they probably wouldn't realize that this scenario (at the cheapest tablet plan - $20/1GB) would have resulted in a final cost of $779, not including any taxes or fees associated with the device or data plan. But hey, at least in their eyes, it would have been $200 less than the cheapest iPad.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011