"Flop" may be a little strong. However, when you compare 100,000 Xoom tablets in two months with 300,000 iPad 2's over its first weekend. Well.... eh!
The article on BetaNews enumerates several mitigating factors why we shouldn't be so hard on the Xoom; among them - pricing. Duh!
The Xoom was initially priced at $800 without a contract. The WiFi version is now $600. The iPad starts at $500.
By coincidence this week, both Sprint and Verizon have dropped the price of the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Both are now charging $199 with a two year contract. I'll remind you the Tab went for $499 at Verizon and $299 at Sprint just a few months ago.
I'm not sure the $199 teaser price will be enough to rope in the masses. Aside from early adopters and spoiled executives with liberal expense accounts, just how many people are willing to commit themselves to yet another monthly bill for the data plan?
The Xoom is undoubtedly a beautiful device with more souped up features than the iPad (Oh Lord, I'm going to hear it now. But, there I said it!). It doesn't matter, however.
How many people are willing to pay more for a little larger screen, etc. etc.
Answer: about 100,000 so far.
Bottomline: Apple created this space and therefore has a huge lead. Everyone else is entering the race late. Some later than others (Microsoft, not to name names). The only way anyone is going to catch up is by underselling Apple and with no strings attached.
Last updated: Apr 6, 2011
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio