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