Android-powered Motorola Xoom tablet poised for Feb. 17 launch?

Posted by Unknown on Monday, January 24, 2011

The rumor mill was buzzing all weekend with word that Motorola's sleek, upcoming Android "Honeycomb"-powered tablet could arrive as early as next month, although the supposed price tag looks a little steep.
Both Droid Attic and Engadget managed to get their hands on screenshots of Best Buy's internal inventory database, which shows a 32GB version of the Xoom with a $699 sticker price.
If that sounds high, at least it's better than the initial rumors Friday night, which had the Xoom going for a "minimum advertised price" of $799 based on leaked Verizon Wireless documents.

Oh, and don't forget that the 3G-enabled 32GB iPad currently sells for $729—not exactly cheap, either.
Also revealed over the weekend: internal Best Buy employee training documents that list the official launch date for the Xoom as February 17, less than a month away.
Unveiled earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Motorola Xoom is poised to be among the hottest of the coming wave of Android "Honeycomb"-powered tablets.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab already made a big splash when it hit all of the Big Four U.S. carriers last fall. But the Tab is based on Android 2.2 "Froyo," a version of Android that Google execs say wasn't designed with tablets in mind.

Android "Honeycomb," however, is squarely aimed at tablets, with Android director Andy Rubin demonstrating the new Android OS late last year—on an early version of the Xoom, no less.
The 10.1-inch Xoom is slated to arrive with two cameras—a five-megapixel camera in back, with a 2MP lens in front for video chat—along with a dual-core processor and support for Verizon's 3G network.
Motorola promises that the 3G version Xoom will go on sale sometime this quarter, while another model that words on Verizon's 4G LTE network will arrive in the second quarter. Moto CEO Sanjaw Jha was careful to reassure early adopters of the 3G Xoom that their tablets would be upgradable for 4G support.
As for the supposed $699 to $799 price tag for the Xoom … well, yes, expensive, but Verizon may offer the tablet at a subsidized price with a two-year contract, with further discounts to follow.
The 16GB, 3G-enabled Galaxy Tab, for example, initially went on sale for $599 without a contract or $399 with a two-year service agreement, but Verizon, Sprint, and others have already shaved $100 or more off the Tab's stick price.

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