Motorola’s rival to the Apple iPad has gone on sale in the US with a European launch expected in the next three months.
The Xoom tablet is the first on the market to use the Android Honeycomb operating system developed specifically for such devices by Google.
Motorola said it expects to sell around 50 million Xooms this year. It is a latecomer to the surging market for tablet computers, currently dominated by Apple.
Technology and market research firm Forrester Research is forecasting that the tablet market will grow to 82 million consumers by 2015 in the United States – which means that it foresees that one third of the adult population will own a tablet device.
Sarah Rotman Epps, a senior analyst for Forrester Research called it “a great device.” But she quibbled with price saying: “There is room for more than one competitor here but it has to be the right product, the right price and the right distribution strategy. And the Motorola Xoom, as good of a product as it is, just doesn’t have the right price and can’t compete with the Apple store and the service that Apple offers.”
The Motorola Xoom and other Android tablets will be getting new competition soon. Apple is likely to unveil its latest generation iPad in early March.