Motorola Justifies Xoom’s Price Premium With 4G

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha is justifying the price premium of the Verizon-supported Motorola Xoom tablet at $800, which is $70 more than the comparable iPad with 32 GB storage, as being fit due to the Android 3.0 tablet’s inclusion of the faster 4G LTE protocol for mobile broadband access.

The Xoom will initially be launched with 3G according to Motorola, and the $800 price tag will include a free radio upgrade to support Verizon Wireless’s faster 4G LTE network in the states. Unfortunately, though, it’s unclear if that will be a radio swap, which means users can choose either 3G CDMA technology that’s more ubiquitous throughout much of the country, or 4G LTE technology that’s faster but availability is more limited at this early stage of roll out. Another option, though unlikely, is that the Xoom’s 4G upgrade may contain a multi-mode chipset, which will use 4G where LTE is available and use CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A connectivity where 4G isn’t available.

Jha is quoted as saying, “We felt that our ability to deliver 50Mb/s would justify the $799 price point. It is 32GB with 3G and a free upgrade to 4G. Being competitive with iPad is important. We feel that from the hardware and capabilities we deliver we are at least competitive and in a number of ways better [than the iPad].”

However, the Xoom isn’t just $70 more expensive than the iPad. For those that don’t need 32 GB of storage, a 3G iPad with 16 GB of storage costs $630, so it’s $170 more expensive than the base 3G iPad model.

he company will also be offering a WiFi-only model, which will cost less than the model that supports Verizon’s network.

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