The WiFi-only model of the Motorola Xoom is the latest Android Honeycomb tablet to undergo a price drop. Originally launched at $600, the Xoom is now available for $499 at Walmart. Though the mega-retailer has not given any reason for the drop in price, possible reasons may be increased competition in the space along with slow sales when competing against the market-leading iPad.
The original Motorola Xoom–launched with a 3G modem that’s upgradeable to a 4G modem at a later time on Verizon’s LTE network–launched at a whopping $800 whereas a comparable 3G-only iPad would cost $729. At the time, Motorola justified the pricing due to the novelty of Honeycomb, Adobe Flash support, and 4G LTE mobile broadband speeds. Unfortunately, though, the Xoom only experienced a lukewarm reception as the tablet launched without many tablet-optimized apps, Adobe Flash was delivered as a download weeks after launch, and even today 4G LTE is still not yet available for the device.
Since the Xoom’s pricey launch, several other competitors have entered the Honeycomb market placing downward pressure on pricing, including the Acer Iconia Tab A500 and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. Also, Apple had re-captured the iOS tablet market with the iPad 2, which promised a faster dual-core CPU with better graphics, a thinner and lighter form factor, and dual camera support for integration into Apple’s FaceTime video chatting ecosystem.
As pricier tablets that don’t compete in the thin-is-in form factor cannot compete effectively, manufacturers and retailers may be making price adjustments to reflect the device’s actual value in the marketplace, and the Motorola Xoom may be the latest victim in the competitive tablet space.