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?
Motorola has not made any information available with regard to XOOM sales. Deutsche Bank analysts used a very unscientific method to arrive its 100,000 figure, but for the sake of this writing, let’s presume it’s accurate: Motorola sold 100,000 XOOM tablets.
The XOOM launched on February 24th in the U.S. with only one version available: an $800 model with Wi-Fi and embedded 3G connectivity. This means the 3G XOOM has been available for a mere 42 days — not even a month and a half. Then on March 27th, just 10 days ago, Motorola launched a Wi-Fi-only version for $600.
So, according to Deutsche Bank, Motorola has sold 100,000 XOOM tablets in less than a month and a half, which is an average of over 75,000 units per month. That’s a flop?
The XOOM starts at $600, which means it is responsible for $60 million in hardware sales at a bare minimum. That’s a flop?
Since the $800 3G version of the tablet has been available for 42 days compared to only 10 days of availability for the Wi-Fi version, it could be safe to assume that more 3G units have been sold than Wi-Fi units, which drives up sales totals significantly. Even at a conservative 50-50 split, we’re talking about $70 million. That’s a flop?
What’s more impressive here is that this is a tablet. The tablet market is barely a year old and it’s dominated by a single device — Apple’s iPad. We don’t even have conclusive evidence that consumers want tablets. We know they want iPads, and we have plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest the tablet market will be huge, but it is still in its infancy and it is absolutely unproven.
So here we have a tablet that’s not even a month and a half old… doing somewhere north of $70 million in sales… in a market that is barely a year old and currently dominated by a single device… and it’s a flop.
And let’s not forget that the XOOM doesn’t stop making money at the sale. Carriers make money post-sale thanks to data plans, developers are making money on app sales, Google is making money, and so on.
Comparing XOOM sales to iPad sales is great for hits, and it’s obviously true that Apple has created a behemoth that will likely own the tablet market for years to come. But to call a device a flop simply because its sales don’t measure up to the astronomical numbers recorded by the original iPad is anything but productive. The iPad is the winner, without question — but second place is absolutely not the first loser in a market worth billions.