John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Xoom Sales Estimate: At Best a Dud, at Worst a Bomb

Discouraging news for Motorola Mobility. The company’s Xoom tablet–the first comparable competitor to Apple’s iPad–continues to struggle with weak demand. So much so that the “disappointing” sales that analysts warned of back in March may end up being worse than feared.

Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdry estimates that Motorola Mobility has manufactured between 500,000 and 800,000 Xooms, but has sold only 5 to 15 percent of them.

Best case scenario then, according to Chowdry, is that Motorola has sold 120,000 Xooms; worse case scenario, it’s sold just 25,000. Now, admittedly, that’s a very large range, and one could argue that it makes Chowdry’s estimate largely meaningless. But remember that original forecasts suggested Motorola would sell between 3 and 5 million Xooms this year and earlier this month some analysts were calling for first quarter sales of 300,000.

In other words, even Chowdry’s best case scenario is a worst case scenario. It’s just a bit less ugly.

Whatever the actual figure, it apparently wasn’t enough to make an impression in the latest tallies of the Android army. Asked to break out Android tablet sales during Google’s recent earnings call, Jeffrey Huber, the company’s Senior Vice President of Engineering, proffered this non-answer:

Yes. So on Android, as mentioned, over 350,000 devices a day are being activated, which is just tremendous growth. In terms of breaking out share by device or by market, we don’t break out share by device. If you just look though at where the distribution relationships and partnerships are, obviously, we’ve got a great presence in the U.S., strong partners in Europe, Japan, Korea. So international is really growing as a component of the overall pie. In terms of phones versus tablets, Android is relatively early on with tablets. So we have the Honeycomb operating system now, which is developed specifically for the devices. We’ve got some great initial devices like the Motorola XOOM. But as I mentioned earlier in one of the questions, we’re seeing just a tremendous amount of innovation in the markets, but I think you’re going to see a lot more great Android tablet devices soon.

Sounds like a euphemism for “it’s almost all phones,” doesn’t it?

Motorola Mobility reports earnings on Thursday.