Android tablet makers are not making the splash that was expected. The new generation of tablets like the Xoom, Atrix, and Galaxy Tab aren’t changing the world. I think tablet makers are blowing it with the pricing on these tablets. I am not willing to spend seven or eight hundred dollars on a tablet and have to sign-up with a data plan that will hit me for another $75 a month. I refuse to do it.
Here’s a nice perspective on the tablet wars.
According to a story from PC World, analyst James Faucette of Pacific Crest told Forbes the sales numbers of the two devices have been disappointing so far, only a few weeks after their release. The sales are “well below forecast,” apparently, although Motorola (MMI) hasn’t released any numbers just yet. Faucette blames the iPad 2 out-competing the Xoom, and cheaper Android phones cutting into the sales of the Atrix smartphone.
The Xoom came out of the gate with a lot of things working against it, not the least of which the fact that Apple strategically targeted the announcement of the iPad 2 to torpedo the Xoom’s release. Apple (AAPL) sent out invites to its March iPad 2 announcement on the day the Xoom hit shelves, and then released its tablet not long after. The Xoom ended up looking big and clunky next to the super-thin iPad 2, and it also launched with a few issues, like a lack of Flash support.
Price is also an issue with the Xoom. Without a 3G data contract, the Xoom retails at $800 for a 32GB model — with a contract, it’s $600. Compare that to the cheapest iPad 2 at $499 (with 16GB of storage and Wi-Fi only; the 32GB iPad 2 is $599, and with 3G support it’s $729), and it makes sense that the Xoom is having trouble getting attention.
The Atrix 4G isn’t faring any better, and it seems that price might be the issue for the smartphone as well. It has AT&T (T) as a carrier and sports a 4-inch display and a dual-core processor, making it pretty powerful for a smartphone. But Motorola might have overdone it on the specs, however, and while the price is comparable to a lot of other Android phones and the iPhone — $199 on contract — it might just be too much phone for most people to handle.