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1/10/2011
04:17 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Motorola Ramping For Big Xoom Tablet Sales

Motorola has high expectations for its Xoom Android tablet. The company is preparing to flood the market with as many as 1 million of them by April.

Component makers such as Taiwan-based Catcher Technology and Foxconn Technology are supplying parts for the Motorola Xoom tablet. Based on the orders placed with them and other vendors, Motorola plans to manufacture between 700,000 and 1 million Xoom tablets by the time the first quarter of 2011 closes out.

Considering Motorola's Xoom tablet will be one of the first worthy competitors to Apple's iPad, it's not a big stretch to imagine it doing well in the market. Motorola has had a successful 15 months, thanks to Google's Android platform. The Xoom runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which is optimized for tablet computers. Motorola has chosen a strong partner -- Verizon Wireless -- with which to launch the Xoom. With Long Term Evolution and Android 3.0 Honeycomb on board, the Xoom will be appealing to many, no doubt.

Motorola itself hasn't projected how many it hopes to sell and neither has Verizon Wireless. The device hasn't been given a release date nor a price point, both of which will play a large role in determining its eventual success. (By way of comparison, Apple sold 1 million units the first weekend the device became available.)

The Xoom stands apart from the Apple iPad in interesting ways.

The Xoom has a 10.1-inch display, which is larger than the iPad's by a smidge. It has a widescreen touch display with 1200 x 800 pixels, and is powered by dual-core 1GHz processors. It will ship with a 3G radio for wireless broadband, but can be upgraded to 4G Long Term Evolution through a hardware modem swap later this year. (Motorola said this requires a technician.)

Other hardware specs include support for 1080p HD video playback and Adobe's Flash Player. For gaming, it has a gyroscope, accelerometer, e-compass and a barometer. The main camera shoots at 5 megapixels and can capture 720p HD video. The Xoom has a user-facing 2 megapixel camera for video chats.

Will Motorola sell 700,000 to 1 million of them by April 1? It's certainly possible.

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