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Lower-than-expected Xoom sales prompt Apple iPad competitors to delay tablets

post #1 of 103
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A slow start for the Motorola Xoom tablet has reportedly convinced manufacturers to delay the release of Android 3.0 Honeycomb-based tablets as they hope to compete with Apple's iPad.

Citing sources in Taiwan, DigiTimes reported Friday that Google has been "unable to offer sufficient support" for its partners with regards to Android 3.0. Issues with the tablet-centric mobile operating system have allegedly forced manufacturers to delay the launch of Honeycomb-powered devices.

Specifically, Asustek Computer is said to have postponed the launch dates of its Eee Pad Transformer tablets to the end of April and to May. Originally, they were supposed to launch on April 15.

And HTC is also said to have postponed the volume production date for its Flyer tablets. That device is set to launch in the second quarter of 2011.

Manufacturers have reportedly become wary of releasing devices running Android 3.0 Honeycomb following the launch of the Motorola Xoom, which is said to have had "lower than expected" sales. Problems cited by sources in Taiwan include "brand image, pricing, insufficient applications and the unstable performance of Android 3.0."

In addition, manufacturers are said to be concerned over the shortage of key components following the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan. Apple is said to have taken a proactive approach to the crisis, offering upfront cash payments to suppliers to secure components for devices like the in-demand iPad 2.

Motorola has not announced official sales figures for the Xoom, released in February, but one estimate earlier this month pegged total sales at just 100,000 units. Apple has not yet announced iPad 2 sales figures, but the first-generation iPad reached 1 million sales in less than a month when it debuted in the U.S. in 2010.
post #2 of 103
Could this be because Google did not get a early preview of the iPad the way they got an early preview of the iPhone?
post #3 of 103
its all about the ecosystem.
post #4 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Could this be because Google did not get a early preview of the iPad the way they got an early preview of the iPhone?

Yahtzee
post #5 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Could this be because Google did not get a early preview of the iPad the way they got an early preview of the iPhone?

Possibly.
post #6 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

its all about the ecosystem.

Not really

Apple invested a lot of effort (and money) in many years (since Newton) in the iPad. The success is earned by hard work and dedication. It didn't become a success overnight. Rumor had it that the iPad was ready for market before the iPhone, although the latter was publicized first.

Competitors will have to work hard to deserve a slice of the tablet market. So far, I feel that they haven't done enough homework ...
post #7 of 103
Xoom rhymes with Zune
post #8 of 103
That’s too bad, Asus had the best tablets I’d seen at CES. They also make the best netbooks with good displays and long battery life. They were the only other company I saw using IPS across the entire range.
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post #9 of 103
This is strange. In spite of the great reviews of Xoom by anti Apple bloggers.
post #10 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richr1951 View Post

Xoom rhymes with Zune

It is true. Failure loves company.
post #11 of 103
Let's not beat about the bush here. There is a Market of tens of millions of users here. Unfortunately for google these users want an 'i' device.

Like it or not (the trolls don't, but hey, THEY are the minority) the masses want Apple, the ecosystem, no fuss no mess tablet.

Google are finally "getting it", they have locked down 3.0 going forward and want to vet the front ends to make sure the experience is universal. Android NEEDS to be like iOS and Windows mobile to gain real traction. You need to assure your customers and developers that your device WILL be updated at the same time. How confident can you be in buying a samsung tablet that an update may or may not come in it's cycle lifetime? Potentially leaving you unable to run current applications. It's not a good place to be in.
post #12 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post

Not really

Apple invested a lot of effort (and money) in many years (since Newton) in the iPad. The success is earned by hard work and dedication. It didn't become a success overnight. Rumor had it that the iPad was ready for market before the iPhone, although the latter was publicized first.

So they sat on a completed, fully ready product for 4 years?
No.
They worked on the iPad concept and technology but it was not "ready for market".
post #13 of 103
That's what happens when you rush a product to market.
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post #14 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richr1951 View Post

Xoom rhymes with Zune

And Loon and Doom too.
post #15 of 103
All I can say is: serves them right. I've been saying all along since the iPad 1 started to catch steam that the creativity and innovation of all these wannabe tablets has been abysmal. Nobody seemed to get anything about the iPad success and all they could come up with was to throw some hardware together, slap Android on it, then sit back hoping for sales. First they tried it with Android 2.x, which was horrible, but they still haven't learned much from it except that cheap-ass hardware isn't going to work. But the Motorola's, LG's and Samsungs are still relying too much on Google to help them out with the software, hoping they don't have to invest in it themselves. This is not going to work, because all their direct competitors show exactly the same lack of inspiration, which means whatever they throw onto the market will be mostly generic, and competing only on price, which none of the Android Honeycomb tablets seem to get right anyway. Add to that the observation that Google appears to have lost track of their own Android roadmap and now seems to be handing out unfinished beta software to their 'valued partners' and you can imagine that the whole Android tablet market is getting really sour.

I've been reading a lot of the Playbook reviews, and even though it looks like it is half-baked just like Honeycomb, and even though it doesn't look like RIM has any idea which way they want to go with it, or why they even have a tablet in the first place, I have to admit that the OS, UI and the thought put into that thing to make it stand out from the rest, at least shows some potential and character. I don't like RIM and I don't think the Playbook will be a huge success, but I have to applaud RIM for trying to be original, and trying to stand out from the generic mess that is called Android.

Maybe HP will get it right. I'm really starting to hope they will, because it would be a big shame if everyone keeps failing like this, leaving the market to just iOS (which has a plan and a vision behind it) and Android (which is just a cheap tool for manufacturers and a vehicle for delivering more ads for Google)
post #16 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Could this be because Google did not get a early preview of the iPad the way they got an early preview of the iPhone?

Eric Schmidt sat on Apple's board when the iPhone was in early development, so, He was able to steal it while it was happening, I'm not sure why Apple has not sued the pants off him for that. Now that Google wasn't on the Apple Board.....well.......ya get ...Honeycomb in all its glory. With all the Tablet manufactures putting their eggs in one basket, so to speak, they all get to fail together.
post #17 of 103
Apple cannot patent the idea only the code a UI methodology. Google did not use any of Apple's code or directly use the iPhone's UI.

From the way it sounds getting an early peek at the iPhone gave Google a road map with where to go with Android development.

Now with the tablet space they have no direct access to Apple's ideas and have to develop it all on their own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

Eric Schmidt sat on Apple's board when the iPhone was in early development, so, He was able to steal it while it was happening, I'm not sure why Apple has not sued the pants off him for that.
post #18 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post

Not really

Apple invested a lot of effort (and money) in many years (since Newton) in the iPad. The success is earned by hard work and dedication. It didn't become a success overnight. Rumor had it that the iPad was ready for market before the iPhone, although the latter was publicized first.

Competitors will have to work hard to deserve a slice of the tablet market. So far, I feel that they haven't done enough homework ...

iOS was originally conceived as a tablet operating system. Apple later came to the conclusion that it would work as a smartphone OS, plus a phone would be easier to bring to market.

A thousand dollar tablet would not fly; Apple had to wait until the conditions were right: specifically the App Store ecosystem and COGS.
post #19 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

its all about the ecosystem.

Actually, I think it's all about the price. Without telco subsidy, competitors can't compete with Apple on price. When you can't be profitable at a lower price point than the brand that has a premium image, 9 out of 10 you will have a market failure on your hand.
post #20 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richr1951 View Post

Xoom rhymes with Zune

And is pretty much synonomous with 'exhume'.
post #21 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

That's what happens when you rush a product to market.

Obviously.
post #22 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

Eric Schmidt sat on Apple's board when the iPhone was in early development, so, He was able to steal it while it was happening, I'm not sure why Apple has not sued the pants off him for that. Now that Google wasn't on the Apple Board.....well.......ya get ...Honeycomb in all its glory. With all the Tablet manufactures putting their eggs in one basket, so to speak, they all get to fail together.

According to the new book on Google, steve was so infuriated by that betrayal that he kept any knowledge of the iPad from Schmidt while he was on the board.
post #23 of 103
Not going to be easy for the competitors. They now have to either be equal AND cheaper then ipad, since Apple is the 'high priced, premium' brand, that happens to also be the cost leader. Or be same price and better. But better and more expensive won't sell much.

Google is blowing their chance now, we need Microsoft to jump in and give us something really different the iPad/iOS. how about a $500 Windows Mobile Tablet with front and back facing Kinect hardware! That platform would own augmented reality.
post #24 of 103
Throws a lot of cold water on everyone who said the iPad is just a big iPod touch.
post #25 of 103
It's very interesting how successful Android phones are yet how unsuccessful are Android tablets.
post #26 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Apple cannot patent the idea only the code a UI methodology. Google did not use any of Apple's code or directly use the iPhone's UI.

This is the opposite of true. Copyright applies to code, while patents apply to the ideas behind the code. You can't patent facts or goals, but you can patent any methodology whether you have code for it or not.
post #27 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

[...] Problems cited by sources in Taiwan include "brand image, pricing, insufficient applications and the unstable performance of Android 3.0." [...]

That pretty much sums it up. Except for the lack of an infrastructure for media and app delivery, and 200 million accounts with associated credit card info.

Oh, and there's also the overall experience. Sometimes the intangibles are the hardest to get right.

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post #28 of 103
The Droidtards always say that Apple's brand image isn't worth anything. Consumers are really foolish just paying extra for an Apple logo. But as far back as I remember, most of the consumers that I know have always been willing to pay more for a branded logo.

Some analyst is saying that Apple might be able to sell between 45 and 60 million iPads this year. The number seems to be increasing by the month. That's an unbelievably high number of tablets increase from one year to the next. Possibly 3X to 4X the amount as last year. Let's see if Apple's share price moves accordingly.
post #29 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richr1951 View Post

Xoom rhymes with Zune

I'm pretty sure Xoom is droid-speak for "Soon."
post #30 of 103
1. Don't rush the product just to beat Apple. Whether it's Samsung last year or Motorola in March or RIM preannouncing in September, it's bad form to release half-baked. Unlike phones, people are reading the reviews on these things to see which ones work best. The ones with mediocre reviews aren't selling. Apple got its fans to buy in, which created a network effect as new apps and functionality was released. Few of the competitors will be able to do that.
2. Tablets aren't phones.Both Samsung and Motorola thought they could simply leverage the same old carrier-based subsidy/spiff sales style and rack up the sales. They did not foresee that people didn't want yet another contract. Now Samsung is being forced to practically dump its products and the first 3g-based Xoom sales are weak.
3. Margins are going to be crushing. Apple was taking a risk when selling the iPad because it's a higher cost to build, potentially lower margin product. They made up for that by having built-in value-add as the average selling price over time is over $600. If people looking for an alternative don't like Apple's "premium" brand guess what's going to sell? The ultra cheap models with razor thin margins. Just like netbooks it'll be a race to the bottom all over again. Then again, Google is forcing higher hardware specs for Honeycomb, which should help keep the discounters at bay.
4. The component crush. Apple buying up over half of the touchscreen market (and other parts with upfront cash) makes it harder for the compeitiors to forecast and book production. Can new plants come online fast enough to meet demand? If you're Apple, not fast enough.

Tablet sales are being propelled by one simple question, "Tablets are different, but why are they good?" Apple has answered that question. When the others start capably solving that riddle, their sales can start to take off too.
post #31 of 103
There is a lot of gray area in there. The over all point is that Apple cannot copywrite or patent everything about the iPhone to the point where no one else is able to create a similar type of mobile platform.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

This is the opposite of true. Copyright applies to code, while patents apply to the ideas behind the code. You can't patent facts or goals, but you can patent any methodology whether you have code for it or not.
post #32 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

It's very interesting how successful Android phones are yet how unsuccessful are Android tablets.

The cell carriers heavily influence smart phone sales. The BlackBerry used to be the darling of Verizon. Got thrown under the bus when Verizon saw Android as the new hot thing. Oops.

But pad computing is a whole different scene. You don't actually need 3G or LTE connectivity in your iPad or iPad clone if you use it with wi-fi. This means you don't necessarily need a cell plan, which drastically reduces the cell carriers' ability to mess around with you. And that makes pads less interesting to the cell carriers. They aren't a major revenue stream because they don't get users locked into cell plans. So the carriers don't bother promoting them very heavily. The cost/benefit is too high.

So it's up to the retailers. The big-box electronics stores, etc. Why retail? Why don't people just buy their pads sight unseen from Apple.com or Motorola.com or Samsung.com? For the same reason people don't buy cars online (very much anyway.) We need to things it out in person.

And that's where Apple gets their hooks in us. Ever since the original iPod, Apple has tried to make all of their hand-held products feel really great in the hand. It's just part of the overall Apple experience, which as we all know includes hardware design, software design, and the integration between the hardware and software. All of which adds up to a superior experience.

The experience is what sells iPads. Not the cheapest 2000 minute rollover plan. And that's why Android is DOA in the pad space.

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post #33 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

It's very interesting how successful Android phones are yet how unsuccessful are Android tablets.

It's pretty obvious when you think about -- Android phones are successful because they are pushed or given away for free by the carriers. Their true cost is hidden from the customers. Most Android phone are dimly aware of Android -- they just know they are getting an App phone from their current carrier.

Android Tablets on the other hand have to actually compete head to head with the iPad, unsubsidized. It immediately becomes obvious that compared to the iPad they are either more expensive or markedly inferior.

Lastly, Android phones are not as successful as you have been led to believe -- a lot of them are "Android" phone -- no Google apps, no Marketplace, not even Google search -- just a fork based on an older version of Android's source code. This is particularly true in the Chinese market. As time goes on these phones will resemble Google's Android less and less. Calling them Android phones silly, but is good for Andy Rubin to trumpet how successful Android is.
post #34 of 103
It's simple really, people don't want tablets, they want iPads...

...or $300 netbooks that can do "real" work.*


*Source 10 million blog posts from Droid/Win-tards pre iPad 1 release.
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post #35 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post

Not really

Apple invested a lot of effort (and money) in many years (since Newton) in the iPad. The success is earned by hard work and dedication. It didn't become a success overnight. Rumor had it that the iPad was ready for market before the iPhone, although the latter was publicized first.

Competitors will have to work hard to deserve a slice of the tablet market. So far, I feel that they haven't done enough homework ...

It wasn't iPad it was Safari tablet and Jobs took it apart and made Apple to focus on iPhone instead. That was way back in 2006.
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post #36 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkalu View Post

This is strange. In spite of the great reviews of Xoom by anti Apple bloggers.

This is great news, I imagine the Tablet manufacturers are heaving a collective "Thank God for the Earthquake" , because now they have a legitimate reason to delay their launches behind shortages of components and save face. They can blame their delays on the parts shortage and spend the time improving their implementations and at least attmpt to compete with the iPad2 on some sort of level playing field.

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post #37 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

Eric Schmidt sat on Apple's board when the iPhone was in early development, so, He was able to steal it while it was happening, I'm not sure why Apple has not sued the pants off him for that.

Because they can't.
post #38 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

Eric Schmidt sat on Apple's board when the iPhone was in early development, so, He was able to steal it while it was happening, I'm not sure why Apple has not sued the pants off him for that.

I would have no knowledge of this so I'm curious. Do board members normally have insight into R&D projects, other than high level? As in, "We're going to make a phone." or "We're going to make a tablet." Does the board know any of the technical details or specs of such projects?
post #39 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Apple cannot patent the idea only the code a UI methodology. Google did not use any of Apple's code or directly use the iPhone's UI.

From the way it sounds getting an early peek at the iPhone gave Google a road map with where to go with Android development.

Now with the tablet space they have no direct access to Apple's ideas and have to develop it all on their own.


What about conflict of interest? A member of the board of directors is supposed to look out for the best interests of the corporation he is representing. If he cannot because of a conflict of interest, he is obliged to recuse himself. If he doesn't, he is liable to civil and criminal prosecution.
post #40 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

its all about the ecosystem.

I think it's all about making a finished product. I mean honestly, who in their right mind would buy something that needs sending back to be finished.

The problem here isn't Google and it's not ecosystem related, it's a Motorola problem. If they had waited until it was finished, sales would probably have been pretty good. Now even when they do finish it, sales will be muted because in peoples minds it will always be the tablet that has to be sent back.
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