Motorola Mobility CEO defends $800 Xoom price

By Dow Jones Newswires-Wall Street Journal
Posted Feb. 18 at 8:21 a.m.

Motorola Mobility Chief Executive Sanjay Jha defended his decision to sell the company’s coming Xoom tablet in the U.S. at $800, a higher price tag than market leader Apple Inc.’s iPad.

Jha, speaking to reporters at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, said a device that was 4G compatible on Verizon’s network was worth the extra money. A 32GB iPad with 3G currently retails in the U.S. for $729.

“We felt that our ability to deliver [ 4G data speeds ] would justify the $799 price point,” he said. “Being competitive with iPad is important. We feel that from the hardware and capabilities we deliver we are at least competitive and in a number of ways better.”

He said Samsung’s experience with the Galaxy Tab had shown that the sell-through and the return rate on tablets launched so far have been “concerning.” Nevertheless the company was going to launch a product more expensive than the market leader.

Jha said a Wi-Fi-only version of the Xoom would be “meaningfully cheaper. The price is set by iPad at $599 and we will be right around there.”

– Ben Rooney

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