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Xoom Pricing Announced - And Google Music?


Xoom Pricing Announced - And Google Music

When we saw the preview of Honeycomb a few weeks back, there was no mention of a iTunes rival from Google, but Motorola’s CEO took it upon himself to announce to the world that one was coming.

Motorola head honcho, Sanjay Jha was announcing the pricing of the much hyped Honeycomb-touting Xoom when he let slip that a music service was coming to the latest version of Android: “If you look at Google Mobile services {via Android} today, there's a video service, there's a music service – that is, there will be a music service." Not content with that slip of the tongue (if that's what it was), he went on to say that the value Honeycomb will give you it that “it adds video services and music services."

Google has long been expected to launch a rival to Apple’s iTunes which holds around 66 percent of the digital music sales globally and this is the first solid indication that Honeycomb will be the platform it is first launched on. Last week Billboard magazine published a report that said Andy Rubin, a VP of engineering at the search giant, was heading up the new service and that he had been in contact personally with music executives about the service.

As well as giving the game away in relation to Google’s music service, Jha was able to tell us that the Xoom will be priced at a dollar less than $800 (£500) when it is released in the US for the 3G Wi-Fi model, while the Wi-Fi only model will cost a paltry $600 (£375). While the pricing in the US has no real correlation with the price it will sell for in the UK, and we have no confirmed details on that yet, however if you go by the American pricing it will be just slightly less that the price of an iPad.

Jha subsequently told reporters that the Xoom’s premium pricing was predicated on it’s upgradability to 4G which will be free to all customers (at least those with the 3G version) when it becomes available. The Xoom is still on course for a Q2 release here and in the States. We’ll bring you UK pricing as soon as we have it.

Source: Wall Street Journal and Reuters

Brian Carter

February 17, 2011, 3:57 pm

Wi-fi only: £375 + VAT = £450. iPad wifi starts at £439 (16GB) inc VAT

3g + wi-fi: £500 + VAT = £600. iPad 3g starts at £541 (16GB) inc VAT

I've stopped being surprised that no one can thrash Apple for price while still providing something of equal-ish class.

(I don't know about the capacities of the XOOM nor it's additional capabilities such as forward facing camera. But it'll be interesting to see how they compete when the iPad 2 comes out in the probably nearish future.)

Luan Bach

February 17, 2011, 4:56 pm


The Xoom has 32GB so you will have to compare against that iPad model.


February 17, 2011, 5:25 pm

It seems that tablets, like smartphones, are currently being sold at very high profit margins.

I blame Apple :). Everyone else is just charging what they think they can get away with after Apple set the yardstick. Then again, maybe the industry wouldn't be going tablet crazy if the margins weren't so high.


February 17, 2011, 5:36 pm

Not wishing to be picky but you can't do a simple dollar -> pound conversion + VAT and compare to the current iPad UK prices as UK prices are almost always dollar -> pound + VAT + a certain percentage to allow for the higher cost of doing business. So comparing US prices:

iPad WiFi 32GB = $599.00, Xoom WiFi = $600

iPad 3G 32GB = $729.00, Xoom 3G = $800

So going by the American pricing the WiFi model is virtually identical and the 3G is considerably more expensive. Sorry TR but "if you go by the American pricing it will be just slightly less that the price of an iPad" isn't accurate.

David Gilbert

February 17, 2011, 5:47 pm

@BOFH Spot on, if was an error on my part, I had meant to say slightly more but got a little muddled. Thanks.


February 17, 2011, 6:33 pm

The pricing is a bit high but I think the biggest problem is the lack of cheaper SKUs. Where's the 8GB/16GB WiFi only model?


February 17, 2011, 6:45 pm

I got quite excited when I saw the Honeycomb demos. But considering these tablets cost double what a netbook does, remind me again what the point is? A device that can do a lot less but is a bit easier to carry around. Still not really getting it.


February 17, 2011, 7:31 pm

It may be higher priced than an iPad but it is a much better device in every way shape and form. Why shouldn't it be?


February 17, 2011, 7:39 pm

Bah, this is obviously a HUGE profit margin for the company. The Advent Vega has the same 1ghz Tegra 2, a also 10.1" screen and is for sale for £250! Ok it doesnt have the 32GB SSD and it only has 512mb RAM compared to the 1GB of the Xoom and I am sure the build quality wont be as high, but is that really worth £125+VAT+British Tax ontop of that?

Personally im hoping those talented developers over at XDA-Dev and Modaco are able to port Honeycomb to the Vega and so help us out of being ripped off by the major manufacturers by providing a budget alternative that shows just how overpriced these smart-devices are, in a similar way as ZTE did with the ZTE Blade.


February 17, 2011, 7:40 pm


For the regular non geeky guy on the street Apple is always perceived as the superior product.

If you care that the Zoom is techinally superior the iPad probably wasn't meant for you in the first place.


February 17, 2011, 7:54 pm

It's more than technically superior. The gui looks a lot better as well. It will be faster. It can link to a tv to watch movies on. It has a widescreen that is a hell of a lot better for watching movies and tv shows on the first place. Front facing camera for video calls. I could go on and on without getting into reasons that an average person on the street wouldn't get.


February 17, 2011, 8:09 pm

All these devices have to compete with the iPad 2 though, we all know the original was lacking in many areas and these new tablets cover most of them, question is how many will Apple fill with the new iPad (which is immininent) and can they do that AND bring it down in price.


February 17, 2011, 8:25 pm


I don't see many people excited at the prospect of fiddling around with HDMI cables, plus the tablet has no remote either. Maybe more interesting in companies to quickly set up a presentation, but then again not many companies have HDMI projectors yet: VGA would be better.

As for the widescreen, it is good for watching videos but using the tablet in portrait mode for emails, web, etc it's worse than 4:3.

Not sure those are the most interesting selling points for the average person.


February 17, 2011, 9:03 pm

@TechnicPuppet: Those are all good reasons why you and I would buy a Xoom, but not Joe Public. Your list reminds me of this parody:

http://www.youtube.com/watc... (warning: strong language)

The iPad has a giant Apple logo prominently displayed on the back and it's also very, very shiny. It has 'wow' factor in spades. These are a few of the aspects that make it so easy to sell to non-geeky folks, and Apple are masters at crafting their public image.


February 17, 2011, 9:37 pm


I was trying not to get into the more subjective elements like UI and functionality although personally I agree with you.


I can't see a reason for Apple to lower their prices when no major competitors are trying to undercut them. Maybe Moto/Samsung etc (mistakenly) think that people are happy to pay a premium for tablets rather than for Apple. I think iPad 2 will just see a slight spec bump, probably dual core, more RAM and and dual cameras, although I can see storage not increasing.


Fiddling with HDMI cables? Like people fiddle with iPod cables? At least HDMI doesn't also require iTunes! How hard do you think it is to plug one end into a tablet and the other into a tv?

The remote is a great idea, surely it can't be long before Google launch an mobile app to control your tablet.


February 17, 2011, 10:00 pm

@Rav: Sorry but the general population tend not to go for video via cable'd solutions. Even in the world of iOS most docks are used for audio, not video. Now when you look at solutions like DLNA or AirPlay that's a whole other matter, everyone I've shown AirPlay has instantly fallen in love with the concept and this is an area that I expect to see take off over the next couple of years.

With regards overall costs I'm really starting to think that high-end Android devices have a problem when it comes to competing with the iPad. Problem is no one manufacturer can expect to sell a vast number of units as sales are likely to be split between them all (especially with the current batch being so very similar to each other). That in turn hurts the economies of scale each manufacturer can realise. Apple, in contrast, can build and sell 10's of millions of units, invest vast sums up front for key components and negotiate very good deals. Only way I see others competing with that is to slash their profit margains and, again, if they're not doing the sort of volumes that the iPad can do that's a VERY risky option.


February 17, 2011, 10:27 pm

I think if you took Joe Average and handed him a xoom or even a Tab 10.1 and an ipad without badges, they'd go for the xoom every time. That was basically my point.

If Motorola, Samsung continue to sell superior products at prices below Apple they will always be seen as 2nd rate. So why should they?


February 17, 2011, 11:03 pm


I think I plugged my iPhone once to the TV in 3 years and everyone else I know don't even have the cables to do it.

Most people's ideal TV watching experience is to sit down and click as few buttons in as few remotes as possible. Those who do get a bit deeper into streaming etc have gotten themselves some sort of media box by now as there are suitable HD ones around for £30.


February 18, 2011, 1:03 am


DLNA is fantastic in principle but the implementation of it across providers is erratic and so it doesn't always work in practice. AirPlay is great except for the requirement of having an Apple TV. If it was just built in to TVs as standard it would be a different story.

I'm not saying these aren't good solutions. I just don't think they are as easy/accessible as being able to simply plug your device into a tv via HDMI. I'd wager that if this was possible on iOS devices it would be extremely popular.

Michael 8

February 19, 2011, 1:38 pm

If the US price is justified by the free 4G upgrade then surely a UK price needs to be lower to account for the fact that 4G is still in the testing phase. I'd rather pay for a 4G upgrade as and when it becomes a reality and minimise the initial outlay.

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