updated 01:40 pm EDT, Tue November 1, 2011
Xoom 2 ME launch pegged in Irish ad
The Irish branch of Carphone Warehouse has inadvertently spoiled Motorola's plans for a stepped up launch of the Xoom 2 Media Edition. A leak Tuesday through Engadget had the 8.2-inch tablet reaching the island nation before Christmas. At €400 ($547) for a 16GB Wi-Fi model, however, the Android 3.2 slate will be priced relatively close to slightly larger tablets like the €479 iPad 2 ($655).
American launch details aren't certain, although Motorola has typically shipped to the US at the same time or first.
The Media Edition is expected to be a slightly smaller version of a 10-inch model and targeted at e-reading, video viewing, and other tasks where the slight tradeoff in size may be an advantage. Both are believed to have the same dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP processor as in the Droid RAZR. A much slimmer and lighter design, under one pound for the Media Edition, could also make it more competitive after the bulkier original struggled against Apple and Samsung.
A release before the end of the year hints that Motorola isn't willing to wait for an introduction at CES, as it did this year with the original Xoom. It would come less than a year after the original and may be an urgant bid on Motorola's part to rescue its foothold in tablets. Motorola was once presumed to be repeating in tablets the success it had with the original Droid, creating a strong-selling competitor to an Apple product, but has never cracked more than a few hundred thousand tablets a quarter. In the summer, it moved just 100,000 Xooms, less than half the amount it shipped in a truncated launch.