Motorola Xoom vs BlackBerry PlayBook: Sales War

It’s no overstatement to say that 2011 looks set to be the year of the tablet and we’ve seen many impressive devices coming out of CES 2011. The next-generation iPad, the iPad 2, is also coming out but it remains to be seen if Apple will be able to hold onto its share in the tablet market when the likes of the Motorola Xoom and also RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook are also upcoming.

The Xoom and PlayBook both featured in our 5 of the best tablets of CES and we’ve given you many articles with information on these two tablets. If you’d like more background of these 2 devices then we’ve looked at a Motorola Xoom hands-on review and we’ve also touched on sales expectations. The Xoom is coming to Verizon and will be the first tablet that will run on the Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS. It has a Tegra 2 dual-core processor and is due for release in the first quarter this year.

We’ve also posted an article about a BlackBerry PlayBook preview and this device has a 1GHz dual-core processor and will run on the new QNX operating system. It’s also due to be released in the first quarter of 2011. If you want to see an in-depth look at these 2 devices then check out an article by Carl Bagh over on Information Week for much more detail and a table comparing specs.

We’re also interested in looking at the sales war between these two tablets and Zach Epstein over on BGR, sourced from Digitimes tells us more about expected figures of each. It appears that Quanta Computer of China is to produce and ship around 1 million of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook during the first quarter of this year. In comparison industry sources are quoted as saying that Quanta is also to supply 700,000 to 800,000 of the Motorola Xoom in the same timeframe.

The report also claims that a WiFi-only version of the PlayBook is coming in March and following that in the second quarter of this year will come 3G and 4G versions (4G coming to Sprint). Motorola will apparently be launching the 3G Xoom in the first quarter and a 4G LTE model in the second quarter. However we now hear that Motorola has denied this and says the Xoom will only be able to access 4G connectivity with an external modem attachment.

Many see the BlackBerry PlayBook as a real chance of revival for the brand and it’s certainly received an extremely positive press. However the Xoom running on Android will be an extremely stiff competitor so we will watch with interest over the coming months to see which device wins the sales war. Whether either will be able to compete with the iPad 2 is unsure but Apple could just see a dent in its predicted forecasts for the next-generation iPad from these 2 impressive tablets, the Xoom and the PlayBook. Why not let us know what your thoughts are on the Xoom and PlayBook and which one will you be opting for, if either. We’d really appreciate hearing your comments on this.

  • JRC

    I'm leaning towards the Playbook. I like the form factor