Aussie Motorola Xoom prices decimated: Now half-price

news The approaching holiday season has online retailer Kogan Technologies slashing prices yet again on Motorola’s troubled Xoom Android tablet. The 32GB 10” Wi-Fi tablet is on offer at $369, while the 3G version is available for $429.

Kogan has been giving fellow retailers a run for their money ever since it opened up its website to other brands earlier this year. Its prices for top-end smartphones have been hundreds of dollars lower than major sellers like Mobicity and Telstra. Kogan’s launch prices for Apple’s iPad undercut JB Hi-Fi and Apple itself, with its products home delivered at discounts of 10–15 percent depending on the model.

Australia’s tablet price war got underway in April this year, with most major retailers dramatically dropping prices of the 7” Samsung’s Galaxy Tab after its introduction at $999. The Xoom, launched in May, was positioned as a potent rival to iPad, with Telstra pitching its 3G version at $840 outright and JB Hi-Fi recommending a retail price of $689. By October, both players had marked down Xoom prices by almost $200. The price war also engulfed brands like Samsung, Toshiba, Acer, ASUS and other lesser rivals, who have all launched Android-based tablets locally in the past few months.

In the second week of November, Motorola upped the ante against the iPad with an offer price of $399 for its Wi-Fi version. Within a fortnight of that price cut, Kogan has brought prices down even lower.

Kogan’s competitors are still to react to its new price tags. Currently, the JB Hi-Fi website is retailing the Xoom Wi-Fi version at $392 and the 3G tablet is going for $644, including domestic delivery. Telstra’s 3G tablet is retailing at $648 outright along with a Christmas bonus of a free wireless keyboard worth $79.95.

The Xoom Wi-Fi features front-facing and rear-facing cameras, a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, multi-tasking functionality on a 10.1 inch widescreen HD display. The XOOM was one of the initial devices to run the Android 3.0 software and can be upgraded to Android 3.2 through a free download. A wide range of ‘smart docks’ on the XOOM support many more functions such as connecting via HDMI to an HD television to browse the internet or watch movies.

In Delimiter’s review of the Xoom in September, when the Xoom was pretty close to full-priced, we wrote:

“Motorola has priced the Xoom to match the corresponding iPad 2 models. The question is, why would you buy a Xoom when you could get an equivalent iPad 2 for exactly the same price?

There are minor things that the Xoom does better. It can play Flash, it has microSD card expansion, and the widescreen display is better for watching movies. But these are all small details that don’t really add up to a tablet that’s better, or even as good as, the iPad 2. There are so many more things that the iPad does right, from the ultra-portable form factor and speedy performance to the longer battery life and superior app selection. At the very least, the Motorola Xoom is an alternative to the iPad 2 that a small contingent of Android-loving power users will find attractive. But is it a threat to the iPad 2? Not even close.”

Now that the Xoom is literally half the cost it used to be in Australia, does this make it more competitive with the iPad? $369 is a great price for one of Australia’s most hyped tablets of the year — and it’s also half the cost of an iPad. You could buy two (one for each child, perhaps) for the same price you could buy an iPad

Image credit: Motorola. Opinion/analysis by Renai LeMay


  1. Isn’t the Xoom2 just around the corner though?

    Even at this price imo first gen Android tablets not worth it

    • Pretty much my thoughts. I also expect the Kindle Fire to be VERY popular in Australia, based on the extreme amount of traffic to our review recently.

      • the kindle fire would be more popular if users could access more of the content on offer to american buyers.

        • Bear in mind that lots of people — including myself — already have quite a large Kindle library courtesy of books we’ve bought for the existing Kindle hardware/software platforms. I already read Kindle content on my 3G Kindle, my iPad and my iPhone — and now I’m reading it on the Kindle Fire as well. For lots of these people, the US content thing won’t be a huge issue right away.

          • In Australia what are you able to access using the Kindle fire? can you browse the web, and how do you download books?

  2. Decimated? Really, Delimieter, I expected better use of language from you than that.

    If the prices were decimated, they would be either at 90% (the correct use, where one in ten soldiers are ‘removed’) or 10% (incorrect, for one in ten soldiers remain). 50% is in the middle and is so wrong, its worse than wrong.

    • The common usage of ‘decimated’ in 2011 does not specify a fixed percentage. I appreciate that you are referring to the historical usage, which many people still prefer, but I’m not changing my headline to match the Latin ;)

      • Common use for decimate is reduction to 10% (as opposed to the historic 90%). That’s why 50% is just wrong.

        Maybe you need a thesaurus and the problem would go away :-) ? Demolished, Smashed, Reduced …

        • Common usage according to whom? All the dictionaries I’ve checked make reference to the 10% definition, but also to meaning any large proportion.

          • Try the Macquarie Dictionary. In the usage notes:
            “Usage: Originally this word referred to the killing of one in ten, and by extension to the destruction of some part of the whole. It is now frequently used to refer to almost total destruction, but despite the weight of corpus evidence in favour of this shift in meaning, some writers still do not accept it.”

            Almost total destruction would be 10% remaining, and the ‘deci’ part of decimate has been used as 10% by people I know. Perhaps because we are engineers rather than english lit grads we care about preciseness and know what the ‘deci’ prefix actually means.

  3. dec·i·mate   [des-uh-meyt] Show IPA
    verb (used with object), -mat·ed, -mat·ing.
    to destroy a great number or proportion of: The population was decimated by a plague.
    to select by lot and kill every tenth person of.
    Obsolete . to take a tenth of or from.
    1590–1600; < Latin decimātus, past participle of decimāre to punish every tenth man chosen by lot, verbal derivative of decimus tenth, derivative of decem ten; see -ate1

  4. 1. I have a degree in English literature, and I’ve never come across the 10 percent usage.

    2. The headline states “Now half-price”. I think it’s pretty clear what the article is about.

    I rest my case ;)

    • How precise and detailed is English literature? I imagine that there is a bit of wiggle room in the humanities. In the sciences and engineering (this is a tech news site after all), there is probably a greater focus on precision.

      The 10% comes from a combination of misunderstanding of how the original decimation worked, common usage of ‘decimate’ to mean “to wipe out almost entirely” and the inherent ‘ten-ness’ of deci.

      I rest my case too. It’s the industrial IP65 rated Pelican one (a true engineer’s case).

  5. See what the Labor gov is doing? This is madness….first, it was the white elephant NBN, now this. What’s next?

  6. This article has somehow become a discussion among pedants on what decimated means.. regardless of the 10% meaning (which is true), the implied meaning is clear as day… let it go

    On the Xoom side… I was so tempted at JB the other day, just cant get myself to spend $400 on something that I will essentially only use to check GMail, use the calendar and ReaditLater.. those damn Windows 8 tablets had better be bloody brilliant!

    Btw, JB is actually cheaper than Kogan when you factor in the shipping ($29).. cheaper by only $6 yes, but why wait 3 days for shipping when you can walk into JB and pick it up for cheaper..

    • I think you underestimate the seriousness of this issue, Marlon. The very fate of the National Broadband Network, the Internet filter, Australia’s Internet piracy debate, adoption rates of Lotus Notes, Gmail and quite possibly the universe rest on it. Of that, I am very much assured.

  7. Just bought mine from Kogan.
    At $800-ish, it is not worth it, but I got mine (32G + 3G) for $450 inc shipping and it has been a joy to use so far :)

  8. Bonus with purchasing from Kogan is you can upgrade officially to Android 3.2.1 whereas the Aus based tablets are all limited to 3.1 for now unless you root your device.

    I bought a Xoom for my daughter for her 3rd birthday, she loves it (dad kinda enjoys it too)

    And the Xoom should receive ICS (Android 4.0) next year + more and more app’s are now available on both apple and android so thats not so much of a drawback these days.

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