Motorola Xoom Pricing Too High at $800

Fresh off its $3 million Super Bowl ad that parodies Apple's famous 1984 ad and ridicules Apple's legions of buyers as anonymous drones, the Motorola Xoom tablet is set to go on sale at Best Buy on February 24 for $799. The device has two cameras and "can be upgraded to 4G." Data plans are extra. 

The $800 pricetag is a strategic blunder by Motorola. The cheapest WiFi version of the iPad (with iPad 2 coming in March or April) is $499. The high price is likely to dampen sales, especially when the iPad is "the brand" and Motorola is the upstart/insurgent.

The Galaxy Tab was priced initially at $600, which was also too high. A better out-of-the-gate price for Xoom would have been $599 or maybe $699. At $799 people are going to think twice and with an iPad right there . . . opt for the iPad. 

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Aside from the few features Xoom has that iPad doesn't have (except Flash, to be equaled or bested by iPad 2), people are generally going to buy an iPad over a Xoom.

The Android OS that Xoom is based on, Honeycomb, is a dramatic improvement over Gingerbread, which the Galaxy Tab uses. However Honeycomb's features mostly play catch up with the iPad from what I can tell vicariously. Flash, however, matters more on a tablet than on a smartphone; that may be a selling point for Xoom. 

Again, we'll see what the initial demand and sales are after February 24 when the device finally hits the market.