Why the Motorola Xoom Will Succeed

I've been following the slew of tablets that are forthcoming for 2011, but none have really excited me in the same way as the Motorola Xoom (Motorola's upcoming tablet, pictured at the right, and slated for a late February release). The Xoom has quickly risen to the top of the Android tablet buzz, thanks to a variety factors. Below are three reasons why I think the Xoom will be a hit:

It's forward thinking. The Xoom is upgradeable to 4G and has a dual-core processor and a 10.1" screen with 1200x800 resolution. If tablets are the future of computing, then Motorola has designed a device that can meet tomorrow's computing needs, beyond a basic eReader/video player.

It's the first Honeycomb tablet. Android fans have been eagerly awaiting a tablet with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and this plays heavily into the Xoom's hand. Devices on Android 2.3 feel instantly obsolete.

The branding is excellent. While I'm not too sure about the name Xoom (do you pronounce it 'Zoom?'), I've delighted in both of the ads for the Xoom that I have seen so far (videos below). Unique and edgy—the Xoom stands out from the crowd of tablets, which is what it needs to do. The market is getting so saturated that any device can easily be swept away.

This first ad shows the 'evolution of tablets,' and takes potshots at both the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.



This second aired during the Super Bowl, and mimics Apple's legendary 1984 ad, this time showing one drone pulling out white ear buds that instantly scream Apple. (This smear strategy worked for the Droid, so why shouldn't it also work for the Xoom?) 



The biggest hurdle for Motorola is the $700-800 price tag, but I think the company is wise to go after the high-end market vs. getting into the oversaturated low-cost battle with other Android tablets. iPad sales have shown people will pay a high price for a device that they don't need but really want, and there's really nothing you can hold against the Xoom other than its price (and maybe it's name).

I'm not saying that the Xoom is going to be the market leader, but I would expect it to be one of the best selling Android tablets of 2011.

Follow Brian Reinholz on Twitter @breinholz


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