Motorola Releasing WiFi Xoom Tablet on March 27
Motorola Mobility will begin selling its WiFi-only Motorola Xoom tablet March 27 for $599 at Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, Sam's Club, Staples and Walmart, and online at Amazon.com.
The 32GB Xoom WiFi, which is price-equivalent to Apple's new WiFi-only, 32GB iPad 2, will also be available to commercial IT channels and regional retailers through a distribution agreement with Synnex Corporation, and regional carriers through Brightpoint, Motorola said.
The 10.1-inch Xoom is the first slate based on Google's Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" operating system, a tablet-tailored flavor of the platform popularized on smartphones. Powered by a 1-GHz dual-core processor, the Xoom offers dual cameras and user-interface perks on a 1280-by-800 HD display.
More important, carrying a price of $599, the Xoom WiFi should prove a solid challenger to the iPad 2 WiFi after people were put off by Motorola's pricing for its WiFi+3G version of Xoom.
Motorola launched the WiFi+3G Xoom Feb. 24, priced at $599 with a two-year deal from Verizon Wireless, and $799 off contract.
High-tech analysts fretted over the notion of a tablet with a data plan that would cost $20 a month for 1GB of data, pushing the cost of ownership for the tablet to more than $1,000 over two years.
Some analysts and consumers saw a better bargain in the iPad, which offers the comparable 32GB WiFi+3G version for $729.