Both the nation’s biggest telco Telstra and device manufacturer Motorola have declined to comment on a report that Motorola’s highly anticipated Xoom tablet and Atrix handset will be launched through Telstra in the next month or so.
Late yesterday local Android blog Ausdroid — which has been correct in its reports of a number of other Android handset launches on Australian shores — reported Telstra would launch the Xoom and Atrix in mid-May, alongside a slew of other handsets from manufacturers like Samsung and Sony Ericsson, some of which are already known about.
Speaking this morning, a Telstra spokesperson declined to comment on the report, apart from confirming that the telco was examining several tablets based on the new ‘Honeycomb’ version of Android, which has been specially developed for tablet devices. A spokesperson for Motorola declined to comment on the issue, other than that noting it was exploring the Australian market as an opportunity for both devices.
Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have been selling the 7″ version of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet since it launched in late 2010, and all three also sell 3G connectivity options for Apple’s iPad tablet, although they don’t sell the device directly. In addition, both Telstra and Optus sell their own self-branded tablets, manufactured respectively by Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE.
However, only VHA (which operates the Vodafone and ‘3’ brands) has so far launched one of the next-generation of tablets in Australia based on Honeycomb — the Galaxy Tab 10.1v, which costs customers $729 outright and goes on sale this month.
Internationally, the Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xoom, alongside HTC’s Flyer tablet and Research in Motion’s PlayBook device (which is not based on the Android platform) have attracted high degrees of interest, as they are seen as the chief competitors to Apple’s iPad, which has achieved strong sales figures internationally and currently dominates the Australian market for tablets.
The Atrix attracted a significant degree of attention when it launched in the US at the CES tradeshow several months ago, due to its high resolution display, dual-core CPU, 960×540 display resolution and its ability to interact with a number of peripherals such as laptops and monitors, allowing it to extend its functionality dramatically. The handset is already available locally through online retailers like Mobicity — but it has not yet gone on sale through a telco partner.
Image credit: Motorola