The Xoom has been touted as the first real iPad killer, with its 10.1in form factor and the tablet-specific Honeycomb version of Android. However with its release merely days away Motorola's flagship device has been dealt a blow.
Some small print at the bottom of Verizon's website points out that the Xoom will not ship with Flash support when it is launched on Thursday. The small print on the website is the first indication of the delay in getting Flash support on the tablet and the “Adobe Flash expected Spring 2011” line is worryingly vague. It is believed that Motorola will wait for Adobe Flash 10.2 that was announced last week before it upgrades the Xoom, shortly after launch. The lack of Flash on the tablet will be a major issue for some and will no doubt take some of the gloss off the Xoom’s launch.
The Xoom is going on sale on Thursday in the States at a cost of $799 for the 3G + Wi-Fi model and $600 for the Wi-Fi only model. Adobe last week announced that it was going to release version 10.2 for smartphones and tablets “in the next few weeks” and the new version will only work with Android Honeycomb, due to it using fewer CPU cycles to play back video to help save battery time. Google had to specifically add new capabilities in Honeycomb to let Flash 10.2 take full advantage of hardware.
By the time the Xoom is released over on this side of the world, we could be seeing the full functionality of Flash at launch but for now, those who purchase the tablet in the States this week can at least enjoy a complete lack of Flash-based ads while surfing the web.