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Rival tablets fail to dent iPad’s dominance

Remember when the Motorola Xoom tablet was touted as the first serious competition for the iPad? Web sites raved about it (including this one), and techies loved it so much they voted it Best of Show at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

How quickly things change. Analysts at Deutsche Bank now estimate that Motorola has sold just 100,000 Xooms since the device arrived in stores on February 24. By comparison, Apple sold over 300,000 iPad 2 tablets in its first weekend alone.

Since then, Apple has been plagued by shortages, as eager customers have formed lines outside its own stores and those of its retail partners. Some analysts are now estimating that Apple could sell as many as 30 million iPad 2’s this year – if it can only keep up with demand.

And Motorola isn’t the only tablet manufacturer to suffer. Sprint and Verizon yesterday both announced further price cuts for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet, which can now be purchased for $199.99 with a two-year data contract, down from $399.99 at launch.

Meanwhile, the cheapest Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 costs $499, but is selling for over $600 on Amazon.com because of the shortages.

None of this bodes well for Research In Motion, maker of BlackBerry smartphones. Next week sees the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook, which is being promoted as “the world’s first professional-grade tablet.” A lot is riding on the PlayBook for RIM, which has seen its dominance of the business smartphone market rapidly eroded by the iPhone and a stream of Android-powered devices.

The PlayBook’s pricing is right in line with the iPad 2 and, if anything, the feature set promises to be even better. But as makers of personal music players and now tablet manufacturers have found out, a good price point and a well-designed product may not be enough when the competition is Apple.

Are you thinking of buying a tablet? Are you looking at other products or does it have to be an iPad? Share your thoughts with The Online Mom!

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