The nation’s number two telco Optus this afternoon confirmed plans to bust open the doors of the love nest created this week by Telstra and Motorola, confirming plans to launch the US mobile giant’s Xoom Android tablet on its own network just a month after the device goes on sale with Telstra.
Yesterday Telstra confirmed it would sell the Xoom from 24 May, on one of several plans. This afternoon an Optus spokesperson said the company would definitely be selling the Xoom, with a mid to late June timeframe for the device planned for the device’s launch and pricing as yet unconfirmed.
The news means all three telcos will have a flagship high-end Android tablet to take to the Australian market throughout mid-2011, with Vodafone having already started selling a 10″ version of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet.
The Xoom is one of the first devices to run Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), which has been designed for the tablet form factor. It is supported by a dual-core 1GHz processor, 32GB of memory and 1GB of RAM. It sports a 10.1 inch, 1280×800 widescreen display, a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera. Built from anodized aluminum, the Xoom weighs 730 grams.
In terms of the Xoom’s battery life, Motorola promises up to 10 hours of video playback, 9 hours web browsing on 3G mobile broadband and a 3.5 hour recharging time.
Optus already has several other tablets on sale — the 7″ Galaxy Tab, as well as its own self-branded My Tab, which is manufactured by Chinese company ZTE. All three telcos also sell mobile access plans for Apple’s iPad, which currently dominates Australia’s tablet market.
In terms of pricing, Optus has tended to price its mobile plans and devices slightly cheaper than the same options at Telstra. However, reviews have shown over time that the company’s network does not have the speed and coverage offered by Telstra’s flagship Next G network, allowing Telstra to grab slices of the mobile market through dint of its superior network. Optus’ network, however, is not known to have suffered the same level of high-profile faults that have plagued the network of rival Vodafone.
Image credit: Motorola