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'Disappointing'

The tech world has got itself into a bit of a tizzy today about the sales figures for Motorola's new tablet, the Xoom. As the first tablet released running Google's 'Honeycomb' version of their Android software - the first version of Android Google's approved for tablets - the Xoom has been the subject of a lot of hype and expectation. Would it rush off the shelves at an iPad-like pace?

The answer appears to be 'no'. Deutsche Bank analysts did some very clever number-crunching and estimated that 100,000 Xooms have been sold in the six or so weeks since it was released in the US. (It's not out in Europe yet.) As Crunchgear snarkily put it, that's about what the iPad 2 sold in the first two minutes. 'The whole thing just smells of failure from all angles,' they went on.

And that was one of the lower-key responses. The Wall Street Journal called it an 'inauspicious start.' Another analyst called it 'disappointing.' Most just called it a 'flop.'

But others have been keen to point out that 100,000 is really quite respectable. The iPad is, after all, an unprecedented phenomenon, and not necessarily a fair comparison. Boy Genius Report pointed out that 100,000 units means the Xoom has brought Motorola about $70 million. 'That’s a flop?' they asked incredulously. 'At least we know that the Xoom is actually selling,' pointed out the Guardian, looking on the bright side.

What do we think? It all depends on how much Motorola spent developing the thing. All it has to do is turn a profit, after all. And the price can still come down a long way, and it's yet to be released globally. So this all seems a bit premature to us. But even if the Xoom were a total dog, it wouldn't mean too much. The first Android phones didn't sell too well either, but now Android has a bigger share of the phone market than the iPhone.

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