An interesting rumor has popped up that Motorola is considering halting production of their first Android-powered tablet, the Motorola XOOM, by this June. If it’s true, that means that new tablets won’t be seeing store shelves even before the one year anniversary of the device. Speculation has it that the reason for this is either because Motorola is already planning on a second version of the XOOM, or worse, that the company isn’t happy with how the device is selling and are now rethinking their position in the tablet market. Both of these are certainly possible, but we can only hope that it isn’t the latter of the two.
For the early adopters of the original XOOM, the possibility that a newer version of the device would be popping up sooner rather than later should have always been in their mind. As Apple has proven, despite the fact that a yearly refresh is inevitable, people will still buy the newer, “better” product than the one released previously. In the case of the XOOM, its expensive price tag may have led some to believe that a newer version wouldn’t be right around the corner. That wouldn’t stop Motorola from making a new version.
So, what about the tablet market? There’s the fact that Apple is still considered the reigning king, with their recently released iPad 2, and the still triumphant original version, the iPad. If the rumors are true, and Motorola is taking a second look at the market as a whole, and trying to figure out where they stand in it, then that doesn’t leave a lot of room for other manufacturers to maneuver, I don’t think. Why? Because the XOOM is, in my opinion, the prodigal Android-powered tablet. Not so much because it has Honeycomb under the hood (but that is one reason), but mostly because it’s such a powerful and feature-heavy tablet, that the price tag is almost justified by this alone. Sure, it’s still expensive, but look at what you’re getting. That old saying, “You get what you pay for” definitely seems to be pertinent here.
And if Motorola doesn’t believe they can compete in this market even with the XOOM under their belt, then I’m worried about the Android-based tablet market on a whole. With new devices like the Flyer and different size variations of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab line-up, I’m curious as to how these manufacturers see themselves in the tablet market. Motorola’s got a device in their portfolio that other companies would love to have, and to have rumors popping up that they could already be bowing out of the race even before they really start running is sad indeed.
But, I don’t think that’s the case. More than likely Motorola is already figuring out how the XOOM 2 will look, feel in the hands, and what new features it will have. Will the XOOM 2 be the tablet that introduces another brand new version of Android’s tablet-friendly mobile operating system to the world? Or will there be more ridiculous hardware specifications to show off next time around? Only time will tell, but I’m willing to bet that Motorola isn’t ready to give up on the XOOM name quite yet.
What do you think of these rumors? Do you believe Motorola is ready to throw in the towel in the tablet market? Or is the company already gearing up for another round? Let me know what you think in the comments below.