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Have Only 100,000 Motorola Xooms Been Sold?

David Gilbert

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Have Only 100,000 Motorola Xooms Been Sold?

Without official sales figures from manufacturers themselves, predicting how well - or not - a device is selling is a tricky business and even when we do have manufacturer figure it can be a bit tricky. There are many variables to take into account but one analyst at Deutsche Banks has come up with the figure of 100,000 for the number of Motorola Xooms sold since launch six weeks ago.

The idea is a pretty simple one. The analyst looked at the statistics relating to devices accessing the Android Market, and saw that the number accessing it from a Honeycomb (Android 3.0) devicewas just 0.2 percent. And since the Motorola Xoom is currently the only device available with that version of the software, he calculated the number the Xooms in operations. Now a couple of things should be taken into account here. He compares the number of times Honeycomb devices accessed the Market compared to other versions of the software, over a two-week period. With the Market currently lacking in Android 3.0-specific apps, it is safe to assume that smartphone users would be more likely to access the Market more than those using the Xoom - which could have deflated the Xoom figures a bit.

However, the figure seems to be a reasonable guesstimate of where things stand for the Xoom after launching with the 3G version in the US on February 24, following up with the Wi-Fi version on March 27. The Xoom is only available in the US at the moment, with a UK launch expected any day now. Comparing the Xoom's sales figures to the iPad 2's does not make good reading for Motorola. While the original iPad sold 3 million units in its first 80 days (about double the time the Xoom has been on sale), its successor is said to have sold 2.5million units in March alone.

With Android Honeycomb an unproven platform and Motorola - and others - trying to play catch-up with Apple, it seems as if they have a long way to go before the public place their tablets in the same bracket as the iPad. It was never going to be an easy sell to get the general public on board the Honeycomb train, and these figures seem to back that up.

Source: Business Insider

piesforyou

April 8, 2011, 6:14 pm

Surely these figures reflect the general sentiment towards tablets. When the iPad was announced, everyone was asking "but what will you use it for?". Of course the apple fan{aticism}base was enough to overcome its more-or-less uselessness. But with Android, that same question seems to actually be a problem. Yes, it seems products do actually need to be useful in order to sell, unless said product is a fashion item.

Gk.pm

April 8, 2011, 6:50 pm

@piesforyou And why would you say that? I think the iPad buying public was much larger than just the normal apple fan base. Do you really think that many people would buy a device for no other purpose but fashion? If so you must have an horrible idea of society and you'll be in for another shock when the iPad2 sales numbers are revealed.

I think a big reason for Xoom's disappointing sales is that while Honeycomb has about 50 native apps (if that), the iPad has over 65000. Sure some apps are a bit rubbish on both platforms, but there are some really good ones which people like. Combine that with rushed hardware, high price and it's really no surprise why it isn't selling well.

I find that conventional Internet browsing is a very small part of my tablet use (even less if TR came out with an app). AVForums for example has already released a brilliant app which makes using the site a breeze. Apps are where the platform really shines, they're just so much more efficient.

Greg Shewan

April 8, 2011, 7:20 pm

@Gk.pm - At least 60% (in my opinion) of the customers were Apple purchasers, ie. those that had an iPhone or a iMac already. It's all branding and Apple have that 'hipster' moniker that ensures their products sell. The only tablet I hear people talking about is the iPad, and thats not because its even available officially here (South Africa) it's all down to marketing and competitions.

In the end the iPad/iPad2 is just an expensive toy, just like most other tablets. The fact that it can't even support Flash makes it even more of a niche product.

Oh, scratch that... the first iPad just became available, as always SA is the worlds dumping ground for last years tech.

Jesper

April 8, 2011, 7:21 pm

My memory may have been affected by the reality distortion field, but to me this makes perfect sense.

When Mr. Jobs launched the original iPad he brought a host of content providers on stage to present different usage scenarios. Even if it did seem like a kind of niche product it really made sense in many ways.

When Google launched Honeycomb they spent a lot of time explaining the fancy home screen. But as I remember there were only something like 4 or 5 3rd parties on stage.

I don't think people buy tablets because of fancy home screens with cool widgets. They buy them because they are presented with a usage scenario which makes sense.

Also. When the iPad was launched everybody was sceptical and almost everybody was surprised positively by how good it was. On the other hand. When Google announced Honeycomb it seemed a thousand times better and more useful then the iPad, and I think people had really high expectations. However, I haven't read a positive review yet. Everybody seem to point at it's inconsistent user interface and beta-like software.

And also... the price. Honeycomb tablets are just too expensive.

Gk.pm

April 8, 2011, 8:18 pm

@Greg Shewan Well I would suggest you investigate why Apple has that "hipster" moniker, after being taken for dead back in 1998. I think you'll find it didn't just materialise out of thin air.

As it's clear you haven't even used an iPad maybe you shouldn't dismiss it as toy just yet..

Behnam

April 8, 2011, 8:40 pm

No matter how well iPads sell, for me it will always remain a far too restricted useless toy. We all shouldn't forget how new Android is compared to IOS, yet it's progress is staggering to say the least. So give Android some time and it will beat IOS hands down.
Now i will probably get responses from irate Apple fanboys:) but i really couldn't care less. If Apple fanboys want to deny the facts it's their problem :)

Gk.pm

April 8, 2011, 9:16 pm

@Benham What do you mean "how new Android is"? Android has been in development since 2003 and was officially released 1 year and 4 months later than the first version of iOS.

If you look at iOS 2.0, the first that supported third-party apps, it was only 3 months later. Is that so new?

With a whole parade of all new tablet systems coming our way from HP, RIM and probably Microsoft next year one thing is for sure, it's going to be a more crowded and competitive market than the mobile is, both for iOS and Android.

HarryGlass

April 8, 2011, 10:36 pm

@piesforyou: Interesting, I'd never thought of it that way. I think you're right, nobody really knows what tablets are for, that's why the Xoom doesn't have such high sales. That said I think 100,000 is pretty good.

@GK: Obviously you're an Apple fan so you don't agree with @piesforyou. Apple deserve a lot of credit for turning the company around I agree with you there, but it's true they just need to promote something heavily and it'll sell these days. Even if the Xoom was cheaper & better than the iPad in every way it'd still not sell like the iPad (it's not and Google have a lot of work to do, but that's another point). Apple TV shows that not everything they do sells, but they've not promoted it as well yet.

Honeycomb will get its kinks ironed out, apps will come and in time the range of Android tablets will swarm all over the iPad. Especially with Acer & co coming out with tablets that undercut the iPad (and Xoom) but a decent margin.

Saying all that I'd still get an iPad over any Honeycomb tablet as it's still the better device, I just don't have enough need for one so it's a mute point.

HarryGlass

April 8, 2011, 10:38 pm

@GK.pm: I do agree with you about Android not being that new, sure it's "newer" but they've had enough time and can't really use that excuse anymore for being behind iOS. I think with Honeycomb they've come on leaps and bounds though and it won't be long before they do finally catch iOS feature and ease of use wise though.

Behnam

April 8, 2011, 11:02 pm

@GK Guess i was not well informed then :) still despite the fact it was released 16 month's later than the first version of IOS, i am glad Android came along and left every other OS biting the dust.
When i use a iPhone4 or a Ipod touch it's fun but feels so restrictive.
RIM is like a sinking ship and has only managed to dissapoint me after the Bold 9000 and Symbian is dead
WP7 is just too odd for me.
Android is unrestricted and looks and works great, so it is Android all the way for me.

speedyg2012

April 9, 2011, 12:35 am

Not Xooming of the shelves then? ;)

betelgeus

April 9, 2011, 1:08 am

i seriously cannot comprehend that someone would frequent a gadget sight such as this and then in the same breath state something was just an expensive,everything on this entire sight thats ever been reviewed is an expensive toy.

what apple have been doing these last few years is bringing an item to market that is solely based on the user experience,i've bouht mp3s laptops monitors tablets you name it and ive always been a bit disappointed,screens a bit dark ,viewing angle is a bit poor,the case is a bit creaky ,the fans a bit loud or it gets too hot,or its overpriced.

non of them complaints can be directed towards the ipad it is just a genuinley pleasure to use.

remember what we had before the iphone came out? i do the nokia n600 where you had something like a breezeblock in your pocket and it took something like 5 presses just to type one letter,why do you think text talk was invented purely because the design was so bad.

as for 60%? are you crazy imac sales are tiny,i wouldnt even consider going close to an appple laptop or desktop because they are priced ridiculously high.

but i bought an ipad as it suits my lifestyle i would rather pay a bit more and get it right first time,as i have learned from history.

as for android it is a completely fractured and lacklustre os,yet like linux some people swear on it,(usually people who cant afford a decent os or 12 year olds.

betelgeus

April 9, 2011, 1:35 am

also android unrestricted ?,sir surely you jest im still waiting for 2.3 and when i tried tethering i found i had to root my phone which included making a goldcard out of my sd card and then another 15 steps i dont think so.

Ed

April 9, 2011, 3:26 am

@betelgeus: "some people swear on it,(usually people who cant afford a decent os or 12 year olds." Really? We've sunk to that level?

TIL

April 9, 2011, 3:28 am

I never really thought about it but yes everyone I know who has an ipad also has an iphone and usually a mac.

speedyg2012

April 9, 2011, 3:44 am

@Ed Subtle humour is not your forte my good man. ;)

By the way, if you had to buy a tablet with money no object, will it be the Xoom or the Ipad2?

LetsGo

April 9, 2011, 4:26 am

@Tfl Thats why when Samsung or HTC make a decent Honeycomb tablet they will fly of the shelves .

@betelgeus What Android phone did you buy? because most Android phones have tethering built in (unlike a certain phone I could mention).

Android > IOS.

Ed

April 9, 2011, 4:53 am

@speedyg2012: If you think that's subtle humour then I fear it's you that doesn't get it.

I'd possibly get the iPad over the Xoom - having not fully tested the Xoom yet - because I want a smaller tablet overall. ipad's still not small enough but it's closer.

Gk.pm

April 9, 2011, 5:28 am

@LetsGo If that last line means Android is more bloated than iOS, after seeing Honeycomb I'll have to agree with you.

Gk.pm

April 9, 2011, 6:26 am

I just loved this review of Xoom at Crunch Gear http://www.crunchgear.com/2011...

He points out huge problems in every section of the review but then concludes with "If you literally can’t wait, this is a great tablet for you." Now this is a true fanboi! Iraq's ex-Minister of Information would be proud.

I particularly like the Processor section of the review which I'll quote "I had quite a few app crashes and many apps designed for 2.x devices crashed. Google Body, remade for Honeycomb, crashed every other try. {...} memory management and crashes will be part of your Honeycomb experience."

I'm almost sad to be missing out on such excitement. Unfortunately I've lived through the Linux desktop wars, survived Xaw, Motif, Gtk+, Qt, Tk, wxWindows and already had my share of customisation in Enlightenment (nothing comes close) so I go for more practical things these days.

Stelph

April 9, 2011, 11:59 am

Well personally the I see the main reason the xoom hasn't sold anywhere near as much as an iPad is price, from what I understand the Xoom is priced at the same as an iPad which is complete madness, the casual tech person will see the comparative tech price but would not know or appreciate any of the benefits of android over iOS, just the hype and the knowledge that apple makes good products and so would pick the iPad, "geeks" (of which there are far fewer) would know it's overpriced and a laptop is better, leaving only "geeks who are desperate for a tablet" of which there will be very very few

If the xoom was hitting £250-£300 then it'd be a different story! Tablet manufacturers are just being greedy and I really hope they realise it soon so they can become competitive with apple and push the evolution of tablets forward!

Greg Shewan

April 9, 2011, 1:52 pm

@Gk.pm - Ah, yes I have. How can you even draw that assumption! Stop being narrow minded. And yes the iPad is basically still a media focused iPod touch with a large screen. No tablet has yet made an arguement for itself, especially the iPad. How can a media device be taken seriously if 1. it does not support Flash, 2. Has the wrong aspect ratio for viewing media (16:9 is generally accepted as standard) and 3. Has very shallow format support.

There is nothing a tablet can do that a Netbook can't for half the amount of investment.

PS: well done to Apple on the turn around, but it is still just a fashion brand. Still way too focused on style over substance.... and this is coming from a designer.

Gk.pm

April 9, 2011, 3:13 pm

@Greg Shewan
Well the assumption was easy to make from your "and thats not because its even available officially here (South Africa)", plus you're making it even stronger by saying "There is nothing a tablet can do that a Netbook can't ". So did you use one for more than 5 minutes then and without your ready-made preconceptions? Maybe it's you who is narrow minded.

The most obvious example is to just think of an app like Garageband for iPad? How is that going to work on your half price netbook?
Or like how today I'm doing some cooking so I've put the iPad into freezer bag and am taking it to the kitchen to check up on recipes, then it doesn't get dirty and the touch screen still works. Doing that to a netbook would be extremely amusing.

Just reading anything on a tablet is much more pleasurable, because you can hold it up to you. Then there's the touch interface, which is much more intuitive than a mouse: you're touching what what, not moving some stupid sometimes hard to see pointer around. It's so natural and obvious it's actually strange we've lived with the stupidity of the WIMP interface (which stands for "window, icon, menu, pointing device" btw) for so long.

Paradigm shifts are always met with resistance from people everywhere. Even the web was met with a lot of naysayers! But let's not forget more intuitive always wins. On that basis I have little doubt touch tablets are here to stay and will be the future of computing.
So maybe consider stepping out outside of your comfort zone and start embracing them.

ps: I'm not sure what you consider substance, but hey if style is having machine packed with the latest tech and running an OS that has Unix underneath, I'm happy with being stylish.

LetsGo

April 9, 2011, 3:47 pm

Gk.pm Honeycomb is new and Motorola have rushed out beta software so what, they are only one in a whole host of companies deploying Honeycomb tablets.

At least we get to see how bloated Android code is (eventually with when Honeycomb is cleaned up!) can't say the same about any of the alternatives.

The IPad 2 is a nice device but its going to get swamped by better tablets in a couple of months.

Android > IOS.
Why is IPad still stuck on the same resolution?
Why do you still need a Home computer to update the thing?

russelk

April 9, 2011, 5:06 pm

@TIL I use an iPad but I don't own an iPhone or any type of Mac. I know a couple of other users like me too. I know Apple's marketing BS annoys as many people as it fools, but Apple haters have this impression that anybody who buys an Apple product has bought into the whole "Apple is cool" rubbish and therefore buys everything else by Apple as well. I don't like iPhones, and Macs even less, but I love the iPad and it's easily the best gadget I've bought in the last decade. You only have to use one for a few minutes to fall in love with it. I'm a heavy web user but the lack of Flash support hasn't really bothered me THAT much. Browsing on the iPad is an incredibly tactile and satisfying experience, far superior to using a mouse or trackpad. And the apps are fabulous. It's also a great entertainment device for the kids.

I'd love to see the Honeycomb tablets take off. Competition is good for us consumers. I have no brand loyalty and will happily switch to an Android tablet if it offers more bang for my buck. This is where I think the Xoom is failing. How can they expect to compete with an established product by pricing it like that?

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