It seems that all is not lost for Motorola’s slick new Xoom Android tablet, which we previously said would suffer because of its $800 retail price. Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha revealed today that the company will offer a WiFi-only Xoom for around $600, Reuters reports.
That makes the Xoom $100 more expensive than the 16 gigabyte WiFi-only iPad, but since it comes with 32 gigabytes of storage, it’s the same price as Apple’s 32GB WiFi-only iPad. To consumers it may look like the iPad is cheaper, but the Xoom is effectively comparable.
The Xoom also offers more features than Apple’s current iPad, including front and rear cameras and a higher resolution screen. At the Consumer Electronics Show last month, we also saw a demo of the Xoom running Google’s tablet-friendly Android 3.0, which I personally thought blew the iPad’s iOS out of the water. Of course, the iPad 2 will be announced soon, which could put Apple back on equal footing.
Jha also reiterated that there will be a $799 Xoom on Verizon’s 3G network, which can be upgraded to support its 4G LTE network in a few months. We reported previously that Best Buy will offer the Xoom on February 24. Jha said the $799 price is unsubsidized, which makes me wonder why Best Buy will require customers to sign up for Verizon subscriptions to get the Xoom, as we reported earlier. Normally, a wireless carrier would offer a device at a discounted subsidized price so it can rope in new subscribers.
Jha didn’t comment on when the WiFi Xoom would be available, but I suspect it won’t be too long after the 3G Xoom lands at the end of the month.