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Asus Goes for the Jugular



For months all we heard about from the Android camp was how the Xoom was going to kill the iPad 2. We all knew it wasn’t going to, but it was kind of fun to sit back and watch the hype build, and then eventually just disappear because the Xoom ended up being rushed to market (had all the flaws that come with doing that) and also because frankly Motorola priced it well beyond what most folks were willing to pay for it. Note to Motorola – Time to hang up the skates folks. You haven’t done anything smart since the Razr.

So, who’s the next iPad killer? Well, the other day I posted a bit of a thought experiment and mentioned how Samsung had brought out the WIFI only Galaxy Tab for a relatively cheap $350. I caught a lot of backlash from that post, and quite a few people mentioned (as I did) that while the price was good, this was last year’s tech and wasn’t exactly worth running right down to the store to buy. Well, let’s take a minute to ponder another scenario. I wonder what would happen if you took all the guts of the Xoom (Honeycomb, 16GB Memory, 10.1 – 1280×800 screen, 1 Ghz Dual Core Tegra 2 processor) and then chopped that insane pricing ($599 on contract / $799 off contract) down to $100 under the cheapest iPad 2.

I wonder what would happen if someone did that. What would happen if for $399 you could buy a very capable (darn near exactly the same as the Xoom) iPad 2 competitor? Not only would Motorola likely wet itself and watch its stock plummet yet again as they sell their last ever Xoom, but I bet you’d see a lot of competitors start looking at how to drop their prices as well. I wonder if Apple would notice?

Well, all this wondering is about to become reality later this month when Asus drops the Eee Pad Transformer on the US shores for the low, low price of $399. Anyone starting to see my point of how to win the tablet war?

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  • patrick

    I love all the talk of the Xoom being rushed to market, or the same for the supposedly tablet-ready version of Android. It is April of 2011 right. One full year after the iPad hit the market.

    If that’s iPad rivals rushing, I’d hate to see what it’s like when they’re taking things slow. 🙂

  • Jhrogersii

    The first thing that comes to mind when I see this is the Motorola Atrix 4G. It looked like such a compelling concept when it was announced, with the netbook dock and TV docks available to extend the experience past the phone. With Motorola and all of their Android device experience and the power of a dual-core processor, it seemed like a slam-dunk. In reality, it was rushed to market, and the final shipping version received lukewarm reviews. A few writers that I trust absolutely trashed it after living with the thing for a couple of weeks. it just didn’t come together. You might put the Sony Ericsson ExperiaPlay in the same category, as well.

    In the same vein as the Atrix and the ExeriaPlay, I will have serious doubts about the build quality of the Transformer at that price until I hold it in my hands. Then there’s the OS, which even by the admission of hardcore Android fanboys and Google themselves isn’t fully cooked yet, and this thing probably isn’t going to win over the mass market. The mass market wants the easy experience that Apple has mastered, and no Android tablet is offering anything close to that at this point. It may very well be a very compelling device for the tech-centric crowd, but I just don’t think $100 off will get grandmas and school kids to go Android.

    All that said, I would love to pick one up cheap to play with a few months down the road if it turns out to be halfway decent.

  • Erik

    Android doesn’t need to kill the iPad to be a success. The market has room for at least two table operating systems. Hell, I think Microsoft will at least do okay with their tablet offering even if they wind up a distant 3rd in terms of market share.

    Android has a long way to go to catch up with Apple, but they will do fine if they can manage to fix some of their bugs, and actually release their 3.x source code so that all manufacturers can install it. 3.0 is definitely a half-baked OS. Nevertheless, I’ll be buying the Transformer when it is available in the US.