Time Is Xoom'ing Away From You, Motorola

The tablet wars are heating up. Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI  ) spilled some of the pricing beans on its anxiously anticipated Xoom. The first tablet running Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system will hit Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) stores at an unsubsidized price of $799 -- or around $600 for the Wi-Fi model.

The pricing info was divulged to Reuters by Moto executive Sanjay Jha during Barcelona's Mobile World Conference. The news confirms the snapshot that tech blog Engadget published earlier this month, pricing the 3G Xoom at $799 in a Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) circular.

It's a fair price for the tablet that is comparable in storage capacity to Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) mid-tier iPad. Flash support, dual cameras, and HDMI connectivity are just some of the features that Motorola hopes will set its tablet apart from the similarly priced -- and well-entrenched -- iPad.

It has the spec sheet to make a big splash, but will it have enough time?

Forget the inevitability of Apple's next iPad. Samsung and LG have recently announced that they too have Honeycomb tablets on the way. All three pack pretty similar specifications, so Motorola better hope that it makes a killing early. It will be all too easy to get lost in the blur in a few months.

That, of course, is Android's folly. A smartphone, tablet, or netbook maker can flock to Android as a free open-source platform, but something similar or better is always just around the corner. This helps speed up the evolution of Android, though it also helps investors appreciate the merits of the controlled ecosystems at Apple and Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) .

Motorola Mobility will likely spend plenty on marketing over the next few weeks to build buzz for its Xoom. It better work, because rival bees are also buzzing around Google's Honeycomb.

What tablet do you think has the best chance to catch Apple's iPad? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Best Buy and Google are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Apple and Best Buy are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool has written puts on Apple. The Fool owns shares of Apple, Best Buy, and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has an original iPad, but he may be tempted to stray this year. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2011, at 3:36 PM, xmmj wrote:

    Nothing will catch Apple. Even Android as a whole will not catch Apple - especially not this year.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2011, at 4:20 PM, Henry3Dogg wrote:

    Xombies don't move fast.

    But faster, perhaps, than the late PlayBook

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