Motorola Xoom - operator project?

    I’m sure that a significant part of the Habralyud already heard about Xoom - a tablet computer from Motorola. This tablet should be the first device on the market running the Android operating system version of Honeycomb (3.0), which has been specially deeply redesigned by Google for use on tablets. Do I need to say again that it is in Xoom that many see the first real competitor to the iPad. However, more and more information begins to say that Motorola Xoom may turn out to be a purely “operator project” and will not get much distribution outside the US market - is this what we will try to figure out in this article.

    To begin with, let me remind everyone about what Motorola Xoom is all about. This tablet is based on the system-on-chip (System on a Chip or simply SoC) Nvidia Tegra 2, which has two cores and operates at a frequency of 1 GHz. At the same time, Xoom also boasts the presence of 1 GB of RAM such as DDR2 and 32 GB of flash memory. Image output and control Motorola Xoom will be through a 10.1-inch touchscreen widescreen display with a resolution of 1280 × 800 pixels. From a whole galaxy of different sensors in the Motorola Xoom, you can find a three-axis accelerometer, an electronic compass, proximity and lighting sensors, a gyroscope and even a barometer! What can I say about the presence of two cameras (the usual 5 megapixel with the ability to record video in 720p format at 30 frames per second and the front 2 megapixels for video chat), the ability to play video in 1080p resolution (for which the built-in HDMI connector is just right) and support Adobe Flash There is nothing to say about the availability of Wi-Fi and 3G.

    Although Motorola Xoom was officially announced only recently at CES 2011, a little earlier Andy Rubin briefly covered it at the D: Dive Into Mobile event, where he gave an interview to Walt Mossberg.

    If you start from purely technical specifications, it is obvious that Motorola Xoom is in many ways superior to the Apple iPad. If you can argue about the convenience of the aspect ratio of the display, then a higher resolution, more RAM and a more powerful dual-core processor are a definite plus, especially if this does not negatively affect the autonomy of the device. The software part in the form of Android 3.0 Honeycomb also looks very promising, although at times it looks too “designer”. And, although some parts do not look very thoughtful (in my humble opinion), nevertheless, a radically new approach to the system software of tablet computers is visible in the system.

    What acts as a "fly in the ointment" in this "barrel of honey"? In my opinion, this is actually Motorola as a device manufacturer. No, it’s not that I have any negative feelings for Motorola (although, if you think about it, you can find a reason for this too) - the problem is rather that Motorola Mobility is a rather “weak” manufacturer that cannot boast particularly strong positions in the global market or large profits (i.e., financial opportunities). After several years of losses, loss of markets and other negative phenomena, Motorola saved itself as a manufacturer mainly by selling Android smartphones in the US market through the largest local mobile operator Verizon.

    Of course, recently, waiting for the appearance of the iPhone in Verizon networks, Motorola began to work more actively with other American operators, which is noticeable, for example, in the case of their new flagship smartphone Atrix 4G, which is aimed specifically at the AT&T operator - the main competitor of Verizon, but even this does not change the fact that the fragile financial balance of Motorola is kept at the expense of Verizon. You could even say that Motorola is almost completely dependent on Verizon.

    And what happens when a manufacturer is dependent on the operator, and not on its customers? The temptation on the part of the operator to influence the creation of products by the manufacturer is too great, which in the case of smartphones is expressed differently. But now it's not about smartphones, but about tablets. How can an operator influence the creation of a tablet? Mainly focus on 3G models, because it (the operator) benefits customers who conclude additional contracts for the use of mobile Internet. Indeed, the model, the start of sales of which in the United States is scheduled for February 24, 2011, the characteristics mean nothing more than a 3G modem standard CDMA EVDO Rev. A - just for Verizon networks, whose logo can also be seen on the front of the tablet. In addition, the presence of a 3G module makes the retail price of the device significantly higher - we are talking about $ 800 starting price. But this is far from all the operator’s tricks - judging by the BestBuy flyer, in order to activate Wi-Fi, the user will need to pay at least one month of mobile Internet from the mobile operator (from 20 to 80 dollars, depending on the tariff plan) ! Moreover, according to Best Buy Mobile employees, they will not sell the device at all unless the buyer first activates it on the Verizon network . Although some representatives of Motorola in Latin America have confirmed thatA version of the Xoom tablet without a 3G module will be available , it is not known how long the appearance of the Wi-Fi version of the device in other markets will be.

    Is it worth it to say once again that the 3G version of the same iPad, according to many sources, is far less popular than its Wi-Fi counterpart? That, in general, is logical - why keep an extra 3G module in the device and overpay for its presence (both when buying and when using additional mobile Internet), if mobile Internet is available on a smartphone? This is without taking into account the fact that a large part of users rarely use tablets outside of premises where there is Wi-Fi (home, work, cafe, etc.). It is clear that Verizon is behind such a solution and it is precisely its interests that are interesting, and not the interests of potential customers, in this case it serves Motorola.

    It is this approach, quite possibly, that could negatively affect the start of Xoom sales - yes, they will be big, but much lower than they could be if the tablet were available without reference to the operator, at least due to a higher starting price. But sales of any device, as well as interest in it, are not constant and it is quite possible that by the time the Wi-Fi version is available for sale (another question is in which markets it will be available at all, given Motorola’s current policy of focusing on the American and Chinese markets) interest in the product will not be as high as it will be after the device’s first sale.

    And it’s quite obvious that if the Wi-Fi version of Xoom goes on sale only in April 2011, then at that time it will have a lot of competitors, among which will be like other devices based on Android 3.0 Honeycomb (the same LG G-Slate ), as well as Apple iPad 2, PlayBook from RIM, Palm tablets from HP.

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