Amazon’s Kindle Fire has seen rapid adoption among tablet buyers since its release last November. The device had an explosive debut quarter, giving it a 14% share of the tablet market. According to the latest numbers from comScore, the Kindle Fire has almost doubled its share of the U.S. Android tablet market over the past two months from 29.4% in December to 54.4% in February. In other words, more tablets running Amazon’s version of Android were sold in the U.S. than tablets running Google’s version of Android. Amazon’s tablet is followed by the Samsung Galaxy Tab family, which had a combined 15.4% share in February, and the Motorola Xoom with a 7.0% share. The ASUS Transformer and Toshiba AT100 rounded out the top five with 6.3% and 5.7% of the market, respectively. The research firm also found, when analyzing page view consumption, that 10-inch tablets had a 39% higher consumption rate than 7-inch tablets and a 58% higher rate than 5-inch tablets. Read on for comScore’s press release. More →
Verizon Wireless has a blockbuster smartphone and tablet lineup planned ahead of the holiday shopping season this year according to a purported leaked roadmap. Published on Wednesday by IGN, the roadmap reveals numerous previously unheard of devices. While details are scarce for the time being, several highly anticipated phones are mentioned on the document as well, alongside launch dates. The following are highlights from the document along with launch dates and some available details:
- September 8th: Samsung Stratosphere (presumably Verizon’s Galaxy S II) — 4G LTE, Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- September 8th: Motorola DROID BIONIC
- September 8th: BlackBerry Curve 9370 — 4G LTE
- September 8th: 4G Motorola XOOM
- September 29th: Samsung Illusion — Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- September 29th: HTC Bliss — Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- October 5th: HTC Vigor — replaces the HTC Thunderbolt
- October 20th: LG Revolution 2 — replaces the LG Revolution
- November: Galaxy Tab P8 — 4G LTE
The document also mentions a Samsung Plato, though it says the device’s launch has been delayed until January, and it states that Verizon will launch RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook at a date to be determined. None of this is confirmed for the time being, though if accurate, Verizon Wireless subscribers can expect quite a lineup this fall straight through to the holidays. More →
Motorola will finally make a 4G LTE upgrade available to owners of its XOOM tablet beginning in September. The tablet ships with an embedded EV-DO modem for 3G connectivity on Verizon Wireless’ network out of the box, but Motorola had promised that an upgrade to 4G LTE would become available this past May. Motorola has not been clear on the cause of the delay, but the company began sending emails to XOOM owners telling them to expect the update in September. Applying the 4G LTE upgrade requires that a new modem replace the old one in the XOOM, and Motorola will need customers to ship their tablets out for up to a week in order to have the upgrade applied. The process will be free of charge for XOOM owners. More →
Samsung on Tuesday released the findings of a recent survey intended to determine just how desirable consumer tablets are in the U.S. According to the survey, which was commissioned by Samsung Mobile and conducted by Kelton Research, 90% of U.S. consumers either already own a tablet or would consider purchasing a tablet. Of the current tablet owners among the 1,000 people polled in the survey, 76% said they use the devices to read news or books, 64% said they watch TV shows or movies, 61% use tablets to listen to music and 56% say the update their social network profiles with their slates. Also of note, 53% of respondents said they would rather play games on a tablet than a PC or dedicated game console, and 41% said they were interested in video chat. Samsung’s full press release follows below. More →
BlackBerry PlayBook sales miss targets by over 90% at major retailer, ‘much higher’ return rate than XOOM
According to a trusted source from a major big box retailer, sales of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook have fallen far short of expectations. In addition, we’re told that the PlayBook is being returned at a higher pace than the Motorola XOOM. According to our source, PlayBook sales at this particular retailer missed internal sales targets by more than 90%. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the PlayBook is “being returned at a much higher rate than the XOOM,” which has a very high return rate itself at 7% according to our source. RIM launched its PlayBook tablet on April 19th and sales have been fairly impressive so far according to some analysts. Our source is singing a different tune, however, so let’s hope other major retailers are having better luck with the PlayBook. We’re rooting for RIM, but maybe amateur hour isn’t over yet?
UPDATE: RIM supplied BGR with an official statement in response to this post.
Motorola on Wednesday announced that the Android 3.1 Honeycomb update revealed by Google on Tuesday at its Google I/O 2011 conference will become available on the Motorola XOOM “within the next several weeks.” Google announced that the Verizon Wireless’ XOOM would be the first device to get the update, but there was some confusion surrounding when the new Honeycomb build might become available to devices. Motorola has now clarified that Android 3.1 will become available in the next few weeks and it will be delivered as an over the air (OTA) update. Forthcoming key additions in Android 3.1, as highlighted by Motorola, include support for the new Android movie rental service, full support for Adobe Flash Player 10.2, resizable home screen widgets, USB-connected peripheral support, expanded Bluetooth accessory support and simplified photo sharing between the XOOM and PCs. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Google is expected to announce its long anticipated entrance into cloud-based music on Tuesday from its Google I/O conference in San Francisco. The New York Times reports that the service will initially be called Music Beta by Google, and it will allow users to store 20,000 songs in a cloud locker for free, which can then be accessed by any PC or Android device. Activity will be synced automatically between devices, so playlists created on one device will be accessible from all others, according to the report. Like Amazon’s recent Cloud Drive and Cloud Player offerings, it is expected that Google will launch its service without the support of major record labels. Also like Amazon’s offering, the service is expected to initially be very limited in functionality. In the beginning, Music Beta will reportedly be accessible by invite only. Motorola XOOM users with Verizon Wireless models will all receive invitations, and others will be able to sign up for invites at music.google.com. There is currently no timeline in terms of when the service might become available to the general public. We’ll be on hand reporting live from I/O later today, so be sure to tune in for all the latest news as it breaks.
We knew it was coming, and moments ago Sprint confirmed that it will launch the Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi, an Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablet, on May 8th for $600. The XOOM sports a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, a 5-megapixel camera with flash and HD video recording capabilities, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat, and a 10.1-inch display. The tablet ships with 1GB of internal memory that can be expanded to 32GB using a microSD card. The XOOM does not, however, support Sprint’s 3G or 4G WiMAX networks — sorry only Wi-Fi. Don’t fear, Sprint should be getting a WiMAX variant soon enough. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdry on Monday became the latest analyst to take a shot at Motorola’s XOOM tablet, though Chowdry’s figures appear a bit suspect. The analyst claims Motorola Mobility manufactured between 500,000 and 800,000 XOOM tablets thus far, and he estimates that the company has only sold between 5% and 15% of those tablets. Chowdry thinks that Motorola may have sold as few as 25,000 units or as many as 120,000 XOOM tablets to date. Yes, a range that large is absurd — some might even call it an egregious disservice to Global Equities’ clients — but if Chowdry’s numbers are at all accurate, this could spell trouble for Motorola. While we argued that recent XOOM sales estimates didn’t render the XOOM a flop, if Motorola did in fact build nearly a million tablets and sell less than 100,000 units, “flop” might become an accurate descriptor. Of course if the XOOM was in fact selling at such a slow rate, Motorola would have likely cut its orders and slowed production, again leading us again to wonder if Chowdry spilled coffee on his notes before typing up these recent estimates. We should know more on Thursday when Motorola Mobility reports its earnings for the last quarter, though we’re not sure the company will disclose a breakdown of device sales. More →
The Motorola XOOM is a flop, several blogs proclaimed today on news that Deutsche Bank analysts estimate that Motorola Mobility has only sold 100,000 XOOM tablets so far. Only? In an unproven market that is barely a year old, we’re looking at a brand new device that is selling at a rate of 75,000 units per month. We’re looking at a brand new device with a brand new operating system that is the first version of Android to address the tablet market. We’re looking at a brand new device that has likely pulled in more that $70 million in hardware sales. We’re looking at a brand new device that will also be responsible for millions of dollars each month in revenue for carriers and developers. But it’s a flop? More →
Motorola Mobility has sold 100,000 Motorola XOOM units through the tablet’s first two months of availability, Deutsche Bank analysts claim. The firm arrived at the 100,000 figure by using the Android developer site to see how many people are currently using the Honeycomb OS. Dow Jones’ Shara Tibken notes in her wire report that Apple’s original iPad sold 300,000 units on its first day of availability alone, rendering sales of the XOOM less than impressive. Comparing XOOM sales to iPad sales makes for good chatter of course, but a sell rate of 50,000 units per month is certainly respectable for the Honeycomb tablet. Deutsche Bank states that the current estimated sales pace is in line with its estimates of 50,000 units in the first quarter and 150,000 in the second quarter of 2011. Motorola has not revealed official sales figures for the XOOM.
Another analyst has cut revenue estimates for Motorola Mobility, again citing poor sales of the company’s key products as the driving force behind the downward revision. Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette on Tuesday revised his full-year 2011 revenue estimates downward from $13.7 billion to $12.25 billion. Further emphasizing his position on Motorola, he revised his full-year 2012 revenue estimates down from $15.34 billion to $13.62 billion as well. “Based on our checks, we believe overall sell-through trends for of the Xoom and Atrix have been disappointing,” Faucette said in a note to investors. “In particular, we believe Atrix’s lower-than-forecast volumes are a result of the $49 iPhone 3GS and the HTC Inspire, which kept Atrix sales well below forecast in spite of the marketing focus put on the Atrix by AT&T.” Faucette’s note follows a similar note from RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue last Friday, in which he cut Motorola sales estimates for both the first and second quarters of 2011.
According to an unconfirmed report, Motorola is set to curtail production of its XOOM tablet beginning in April and production will cease after June. Industry watcher DigiTimes cites anonymous sources from within component suppliers in claiming that XOOM production in the first quarter of 2011 met forecasts of between 700,000 and 800,000 units. Motorola’s manufacturing partners are expected to ship between 400,000 and 500,000 units in March, and then April production will drop to 300,000 tablets. May’s production will reportedly dip further still and DigiTimes claims Motorola will stop building the XOOM at the end of June. The cause of the alleged drop in production is unclear, though the website’s sources speculate that Motorola may be uncertain about its position in the tablet market and will therefore slow production. They also speculate that Motorola may instead launch a new version of its XOOM tablet, which is the more likely scenario considering Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha’s previous comments with regard to the tablet market. Total XOOM shipments in 2011 are expected to be 3-5 million units, the report states.
UPDATE: Following the publication of this post, Motorola supplied BGR with a comment via email. The company states that DigiTimes’ report is not accurate, and Motorola will continue to manufacture the Motorola XOOM.