Analysts have been offering their best guesses for Motorola XOOM sales for weeks. But now Motorola has finally released a hard number. The company shipped about 250,000 XOOM tablets in the first quarter of 2011.

The Motorola XOOM is the first tablet to run Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and while it’s hardly unique a few months after launch, Motorola was the first company to offer what it hoped would be a compelling alternative to Apple’s dominant iPad using Google’s latest software.

Some folks are going to claim that Motorola shipping only 250,000 units makes the XOOM a huge failure, since Apple shipped nearly 4.7million iPads in the same period.

That said, I think a case could be made that shipping a quarter million units during the first few months could represent a huge win for Motorola. After all, it’s a brand new product and it also didn’t launch until late February and it’s only available in limited configurations and in a single country.

So what do you think? Is this good news or bad news for Motorola? What, if anything, do you think it says about Android tablets in general? Cast your vote, and sound off in the comments!

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17 replies on “Motorola has shipped a quarter million XOOM tablets: Success or failure?”

  1. I might have bought it if not for the non functioning sd slot. Maybe when the sd slot works I’ll buy one. But by then it will be old news and there will be better and cheaper tablets available.

  2. It is way-way-way overpriced and has a closed bootloader. So I won’t buy it.

    I would buy it for $300 (wifi version) with an unlocked bootloader.

    I believe, we will see $near-300 prices for tegra2 tablets with IPS displays before the end of the year. Now, we just need to wait some more.

    1. Way overpriced? It’s comparable to the iPad 32g model. 599$. The bootloader is OPEN, not closed. As is the Eco System of Android 3.0

      I believe you are correct about the 300$ tegra2 tablets by the holiday season. It seems Kel-el (nvda’s quad core – Tegra3) wants to be showing up by then as well. Qcom and the rest have only white paper’d their quads, where Nvda has shown a working Kel-el in a tablet.

      300$ is a good pricepoint for a large gift for the holiday season.

  3. Ok, let’s look at these numbers:

    March 2011 – 19 million
    Jan. 18, 2011 – 14.8 million
    Sept. 2010 – 7.5 million
    July 21, 2010 – 3.27 million
    May 31, 2010 – 2 million
    May 3, 2010 – 1 million
    April 8, 2010 – 450,000
    April 5, 2010 – 300,000

    These are the numbers for iPad sold… so considering that:
    1) we have a theoretical total of 48.32 M units in circulation and we could safely consider the market to be currently saturated
    2) the iPad is the only device running iOS
    3) Apple is the only hardware manufacturer of iPad devices
    4) Apple controls all features of both hardware and software
    5) there are multiple manufacturers who produce Android devices
    6) Motorola does not control Android development
    7) Motorola does not control hardware for Android platforms
    8) In a market flooded with mobile devices even a single sale is a miracle
    9) Honeycomb is the 1st Android for tablet to come to public and despite the idiotic bashing by users and magazines around the web who lost perspective completely, it is an excellent OS alternative for those who don’t want to be locked-in within the Apple ecosystem (To those whiners who don’t like Honeycomb/Xoom… don’t buy/return your devices and go buy an iPad! And since you are so almighty, I wonder why don’t they just come up with their own devices and OSes ;P)
    10) The Xoom has been released with a non-competitive price that, independently from any financial justifications, was simply a non-starter and those budgeting the devices for the market at Motorola should be fired with no ceremonies.

    You may definitely disagree with my take but I do hope at least that the above points will help you understand why I think that, all things considered, the current sales numbers of the Xoom were not only unexpected but a definite success. Obviously if Android shortcomings won’t get resolved quickly and if prices will not drop maintaining high product quality, I do not see these devices going too far.
    One thing though that above all else the totality of manufacturers should start really change is their attitude towards tablets as disposable devices to start maybe manufacturers could:
    A) think longer life cycles for their devices and create value added solutions to increase revenues (like replacement/upgrade options)
    B) Stop coming up with devices with stupid features like sub-iPad specs tiny screens… nobody will spend a small fortune for a large screen phone/ereader!


    1. all you talking about are the appearance issue. Bottom line is what difference than those china made $100+ android pad? honeycomb is the one but even more buggy than Froyo. than why user has to buy a buggy product? Imagines Honeycomb is perfect and bug free. but that is from Google but smaller part from Motorola (I credit the porting job to them). other than that, they just execute it without any innovation. Ipad can risk and well perform both engineering and market. they should earn this credibility.

      as an enduser, I would like to learn from those android device maker that either make the content different to serve people or make an extremely cheap product. Earny by marketing is only for the first launcher. Nothing left over for the second. Acer Iconia will be the third one to have the same position as Xoom even price lower to $399. I wish my comment was wrong but those are my most experienced to offer.

  4. This appears to be items shipped to stores, not units bought by customers!

  5. Considering that Motorola (currently) has no real brand-name clout in the personal computing or personal entertainment device industries, that number isn’t bad.

    Interestingly, Samsung managed to ship 2 million units of an arguably inferior device (the Galaxy Tab) in a similar amount of time last year…

    Considering the amount of marketing that Motorola did for the Xoom on TV and online, I would consider their launch a failure due to poor pricing decisions and poor relationships with dealers for product placement and demonstration. At the local Bestbuy stores, I see the iPad nearly as soon as I walk into the store. The Xoom, on the other hand, is somewhere buried in a mass of laptops in the computer section. Sometimes the sales people actually have to look around for it. That is a sad commentary on Motorola’s marketing strategy. They would have been better off spending their money on better store placement with dealers than on so many non-demonstrative TV spots.

    The tablets from Asus, Acer and Samsung are going to destroy the Xoom in sales once they start shipping en-mass. Motorola seriously overestimated the price that people were willing to pay for such a device. It is obvious that the competitors have quickly learned from that colossal mistake.

  6. Failure, not in units shipped, but in following the whole iPad killer strategy of releasing an SUV tablet vs. SUV tablet. As for Honeycomb wait a few generations (i.e. half a year). Asus is much more interesting in that they are tossing out a lot of different form factors and features at an incredible rate.

    Also keep in mind that the real iPad killer is low end disruption, which is guerrilla warfare, long and protracted. Android didn’t instantly dominate the smartphone market with a single “killer” phone, instead it’s filled every niche with dozens of different phones.

    Finally, watch the price, android phones don’t stick to their MSRP for long. The Viewsonic G-Pad was ridiculous at it’s initial price, but a steal at it’s present price with a proper reflash.

  7. Pretty simple to see the problem. If you expect to sell a product for the same insanely great (for the vendor) markup as an Apple product it has to be better, not the same or worse because the Apple product gets the benefit of the RDF and being mentioned by branded name EVERYWHERE. The Xoom could offer no real hardware advantage and Android 3.0 is a good start but is no iOS killer yet for the vast army of mundanes who will happily wear Steve’s handcuffs so long as they are a fashion statement.

  8. Only Motorola can decide if it is a success as a product but for Honeycomb in general I think even without sales numbers it has generated too many question marks that will slow down introduction of new Honeycomb tablets and even more importantly, take-up by developers. In that respect it has been a failure and no sales numbers will be able to recover the months of lost ground.

    1. Motorola, despite their success with the Droid and Droid X, has been doing a lot of stumbling, lately. Droid Bionic won’t ship on time, and may be even changed completely – and we’ve been waiting nearly 5 months, now, for the device. The Xoom was a clear disappointment. Had Motorola priced it something reasonable, I think many would have bit on it. However, since they want Apple markup, and the device simply didn’t launch well, nor was Honeycomb all that great, it’s simply not selling at those lofty prices.

      Now, there is news that they wan’t to leave Android and go their own route with their own OS? They can’t even get a freaking phone out the door on time, yet they want to develop an OS, market, and following on their own. Good luck Moto! You’re gonna need it… I’d short their stock.

  9. If you compare the king of the market, it’s a complete flop. They really pumped this up with marketing and ads. Was wifi their excuse? Like Samsung are these hard numbers? As in, does that accurately reflect how many people actually put their money down? Or are these numbers based on the crates in businesses still waiting to be sold? If you’re angry at the Asus strategy of conservative, don’t be. I think they are being smart based on the combined success/failure of Samsung and Motorola. I really think this tablet rush has been a complete joke starting at the top with Google not getting 3.0 ready when it needed to be. Top dollar for essentially a POS OS? Every review says the same thing. Great device but….

  10. Motorola made some huge stumbles, as did Google. Android Honeycomb simply isn’t finished, and apps are lacking, and Xoom was overpriced and the whole controversy over waiting for the wifi only version killed it. It’s not bad, but just not worth the price when the iPad simply has more going for it at the same price.

  11. I would mark it as a very limited success… I think that the Xoom was significant because it was the first tab that credibly competes with the iPad (Sorry Galaxy tab, I’ve used you, you aren’t weren’t a credible threat). That said, the device is overpriced, and now that the transformer and Icona and the rest of the deluge is appearing at lower price points, I think Motorola has sold as many units as they can.

    Also keep in mind that units shipped in no way equates to units sold. Anecdotally, my local CostCo has a few pallets of these, and they don’t seem to be excited about that fact since no one really seems interested in actually buying them.

    So in that regard, the product was a failure.

    There’s my mixed praise.

  12. we have to remember that the wifi version didn’t go on sale till near the end of the quarter.

    1. I was just going to mention that. I think they made a mistake by not releasing two versions at the same time. The WiFi should have been $399 max. Anyway, the real iPad competition is just starting to hit now. I’m still skeptical of the whole tablet craze, but we’ll see.

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