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I just finished reading Matt Burns’ article ruminating over the low sales numbers of the Motorola Xoom. Matt, in kindness attempts to shift the blame in equal portions away from the place where it truly belongs and that is squarely at the “feet” of Motorola and Motorola alone. Even in his introductory shuffle, where he looks to lift the Xoom even momentarily, Matt acknowledges even if not knowingly, that the Xoom is a failure of Motorola’s own creation, by pointing out the nullifying price point of the device and that the Xoom is not on par and most certainly not better than an iPad.
This writing is just my partial response and reaction to Matt’s thoughts and going line for line (almost). Well, at least I touch on the major points, reading the CrunchGear article may help, but is not required.
It is not the fault of Google that Motorola pulled the trigger on the Xoom launch. If, as Matt points out, that it is indeed true that Samsung, Motorola and the entire host of Android manufacturers need to release devices according to the Google Android release cycle, then clearly Motorola took the calculated risk to be first, negotiated the opportunity and subsequently mishandled the occasion.
That is not the fault of anyone at Google.
That is just a bad business decision and truthfully, it was not a “bad” decision it just had bad execution.
Had Motorola Xoom sales shot through the roof, the same decision in turn would provoke celebration and all the tablet manufacturers would be stampeding Google offices demanding the same opportunity. Moreover, corporate lackeys and lapdog writers would not scribble fast enough about “how Motorola is back”, odes of praise, abundance and joy and that the Apple iPad finally has a true competitor on an individual level. Oh, wait. Strangely, it seems that did happen already. However, we the people knew that was a drummed bunch of corporate bullshit and we did not go for it or the crappy ass Motorola Xoom.
Not crappy as in plain out sucks, but crappy as in it sucks in comparison to other devices for the price.
Regarding the hilarity of the Xoom’s exaltation to iPad killer levels, we can all give thanks to the lack of journalistic integrity in the media. Pair that with the desire to amass gargantuan pageview counts, click-throughs and revenue, on top of poor skills and the lack of competent writers able to generate interest with sound analysis, but instead writers dependent upon Apple and various forms of linkbait, who rely on hype and swap files and you indeed would understand why the Xoom was so presented.
The truth was drowned out while everyone connection to “Madison Ave” towed the line.
However, we can blame Motorola, because they made that shitty commercial alone and I talked about the failures of the Motorola Superbowl commercial and what would happen, in detail quite a while ago.
Let us face it for what it was, the hype was never real; it was only on the internet.
While I do agree with Matt that the Motorola Xoom needs a different marketing strategy, I will not say that the strategy needs to be like the Apple iPad strategy. Unless that is to mean that Motorola needs to effectively communicate the benefits and features of the device in a way that easily connects with us (as shoppers) and sparks an interest in us that compels us to want to buy, then yes, I agree. The problem is that strategy is not exclusive to Apple, just exclusive to businesses running effectively and with purpose.
Lastly, Matt asserts somewhat half-heartedly that retail outlets such as Best Buy are to blame for these piss poor Motorola Xoom sales numbers. If you do not see the Xoom on the endcap or prominently displayed in retail outlets, that is the fault of Motorola, not the retail store. In store strategy, appropriate product placement, ensuring retail compliance and distribution all are balls in Motorola’s court. It does not matter if portions of these duties are handled in-house or externally, they are all Moto’s responsibility.
Moreover, the talk of the Xoom being a hot seller is only on the damn internet. Find me a dozen people who are not Motorola aficionados, who are not involved in technology, who are not geeks, who do not follow the “industry” even remotely who showed interest in the Motorola Xoom and I will show you dozen people who never heard of the iPad. And just like the “walled garden” that is much talked about, that too only exists on the web. People in the real world don’t give a rats ass about “walls” on their devices, unless you’re talking about firewalls and even then that’s barely.
What people care about is if they click the button, the song downloads, the video plays, the book opens, they care if the device looks cute, adds to their personal sense of worth and if it makes them look good to others. I am not talking about what people admit to, I am talking about the facts of the issue. Moreover, if it does any of those things individually or in a combination the reaches an individual’s satisfaction level it does not matter if it is a wall, a ceiling or a steel barricade, they are happy. Retailers can dance, sing, and put on the dog and pony show for the Xoom (and other devices for that matter) all they want. Nobody cares about a flea-ridden dog and a one trick pony.
Gingerbread, gingerbread, look I got gingerbread, screams that you are a one trick pony.
Someone tell me what is the point of emphasizing on your operating system (and Flash) in a world where twenty percent of the users on the internet still use a 10-year-old Internet Explorer. A world where Microsoft, the largest operating system provider (from my understanding) is forced to extend the product lifespan of an operating system several generations behind and even today has trouble persuading businesses to upgrade their Microsoft Office from one that is 11 years old. There is no point, in addition to what I mentioned, people just care that the device comes on, and does what they want it to do.
This is why HTC focuses on HTC Sense and not Android, but then again HTC is a company that gets it.
Motorola and others need pay attention; it does not take Pacific Crest analysts to provide reasons why the Xoom and the Atrix are not selling. Motorola could have known the reasons why regarding the Atrix before it even hit the shelves. The Boy Genius Report begs the question, “Who is going to buy a $300 accessory for a $200 phone?” I will tell you who, nobody. The issues regarding the Motorola Xoom I pronounce in “Some Companies get it and Some Companies Don’t” The Apple 3GS and HTC Inspire price points mentioned by Forbes are just icing and ice cream to go with the cake.
As I said before some companies get it and some don’t. Right now Motorola does not get it. I hope that they can turn it around, because there is a need for strong, effective competition and an adequate challenger to the iPad on the device-to-device level.
However, Motorola is the only one to blame for the failure of the Xoom.