The comments on yesterday’s post concerning the Xoom’s bungled launch stated loud and clear that people want inexpensive Android tablets — or at least that the high MSRP was the Xoom’s undoing. The thought is that if you’re going to spend over $500 on a tablet, the iPad is the only choice, which therefore makes the $800 Xoom a no-sale. I sort of agree with that even though I still feel the Xoom is a fantastic tablet. Still, I feel the poor marketing and product placement doomed the tablet rather than the price alone. Motorola never publicly justified the price.
That said, the Xoom would be a similar, but still different fail whale even if it launched at $300. It wouldn’t be the same Xoom. The dual core CPU, lovely screen, and abundant amounts of memory would be the first options on the cutting board. From there Moto would have probably slash the build quality from solid to cheap along with opting for a weaker battery. A lower-priced Xoom tablet would not be a more successful tablet. The vertical iTunes ecosystem opens up a huge revenue stream that allows Apple to price products different than most Android tablet makers. It’s not fair, really.
Still, it’s disingenuous to say companies are ignoring the low-end Android tablet market. It’s actually alive, well, and more than thriving. But please, don’t call the tablets after the jump iPad or even Xoom competitors. They’re not even in the same league. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth a look.