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Apple Wins The First Battle of the Tablet War

Apr 6 2011, 11:38am CDT | by , in Rumors | Apple

Apple Wins The First Battle of the Tablet War

Motorola is in Trouble, but Android is On Track

Motorola's newly-launched Xoom was crafted as the ultimate iPad competitor. Not only was it the first Google-supported tablet to launch, the Xoom was also the flagship Honeycomb device. After months of development and support from across the Android world, the Xoom looked like the iPad's first real threat. It's a pity things haven't worked out that way.

Current estimates from Deutsche Bank show only 100,000 Xooms sold so far. That number comes from a survey of Honeycomb users from the Android developer website. By comparison, the first iPad sold 300,000 units in its first weekend. And early estimates place sales of the iPad 2 even higher.

Supply chain sources tell Digitimes that between 2.4 and 2.6 million iPad 2 units were moved in March. A "conservative" estimate has Apple taking deliver of 4 to 4.3 million units every month. Sales are only slowed by lack of availability, caused in part by the supply of cover lenses for the touch panel module.

It's worth noting that the Android appears to at least be zeroing in on what customers want in a tablet. In a recent survey of all available commercial tablets, Consumer Reports declared the original iPad "tied" with the Xoom. The iPad 2 was ranked as the best tablet, scoring an "Excellent" in almost all 17 criteria.

The fact that Android's best stab at the tablet market is only tied with the last-generation iPad may seem a bit sad. But it took much longer than a year for the industry to come up with a decent rival for the original iPhone. Android Honeycomb is closing in on what it needs to be.

While Android the OS can afford to lose a few battles, Motorola-the-partner doesn't have quite the same freedom. The Xoom is tanking and the Atrix appears to be a dud as well. This dual-core superphone / laptop is having its lunch eaten by the $49 iPhone 3GS and HTC Inspire. Exact numbers haven't been revealed, but they're described as "disappointing" by Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette.

With all this failure on their plate, you can't blame Motorola for suspecting that the golden Android goose has gone barren. No wonder they're building their own OS.

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