Motorola Mobility Inc will launch its Xoom tablet computer in China before the end of June. The release will see the US-based mobile-phone giant officially competing in the market against Apple Inc’s iPad, and Lenovo Group’s LePad.
Motorola Xoom, the world’s first device to run on Google Inc’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system, will come at a starting price of 4,999 yuan ($763.61) in China.
The product will come in two versions, with one supporting Wi-Fi and the other the third-generation (3G) mobile network, according to Frank Meng, senior vice-president of Motorola Mobility Inc.
The 3G version of the Xoom will use China Unicom Ltd’s Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) network and will be delivered a little later than the Wi-Fi version.
"We’re bringing Xoom to China only three months after it made the debut in January at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. It is because Motorola has strong faith in the Chinese market and is dedicated to its future growth," Meng said on Thursday at a news briefing in Hainan province.
Before Xoom hits the Chinese market, Motorola will add some functions with Chinese characteristics, Meng added.
The launch will intensify the already fierce competition in China’s tablet market, as overseas and domestic companies, including Apple, Samsung Electronics Co, Lenovo Group and Huawei Technologies Co, already have a strong presence.
Lenovo launched its first tablet computer LePad on Monday, based on the Android 2.2 operating system. The product, with a starting price of 3,499 yuan, also comes in Wi-Fi and 3G versions.
Sales of tablet computers in China will exceed 2.5 million units this year, an increase of more than 300 percent from around 600,000 units in 2010, according to the IT market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).
"Apple’s iPad took the lion’s share of China’s tablet computer market last year, followed by Samsung and other brands," said Sun Peilin, an analyst at the Beijing-based research firm, Analysys International.

Sun said that Motorola’s Xoom is unlikely to shake the dominance of Apple’s iPad, because – despite Xoom’s superior hardware and avant-garde technology – the number of applications available for the Android 3.0 operating system is still limited.
China is the second-largest market for Motorola, second only to the United States.
In 2010, shipment of Motorola’s mobile phones to the country had doubled, according to Bill Ogle, chief marketing officer at Motorola Mobility Inc.
He said that Motorola launched 24 mobile models in 2010, and the number will be roughly the same for this year.
In addition to Xoom, Motorola will also bring out five new smartphone models in China this quarter.

SOURCE: China Daily
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