Motorola prepares for huge Xoom sales

Posted by Mark Raby

Could it be true the a million Xoom units will ship when the Android tablet is released next month? Motorola must have a good feeling about the gadget because it's amping up production in a big way.

The Xoom, which is the first big device to have Android's 3.0 "Honeycomb" operating system installed, is gaining a lot of traction not only because of the new OS, but also because it comes from Motorola, which created the defining Android phone - the Droid.

Digitimes has a report out saying that Motorola wants to ship around 800,000 units, to as many as a million, for the launch. It expects sales to be brisk.

There's a 1 GHz Tegra II processor, 1 GB of DDR2 RAM, a 7-inch display, and 720p HD playback capability. It also...drumroll please...has Android 3.0, also known as Honeycomb.

We all thought Honeycomb was far from being finished at this point, but the Xoom is expected to come out in the first quarter of this year. Needless to say, it will be one of the first devices tailored to the more robust, more streamlined version of Google's operating system.

The Droid moniker is actually owned by Verizon, so it isn't Motorola's to use. But the Xoom will initially have 3G service only with Verizon. The fact that it decided to forgo the incredibly valuable brand leads us to believe Motorola may be eying other service providers down the road.

But we'll focus on Verizon right now. Since its 4G network is still kind of nascent, the Xoom will not launch with 4G capabilities, however it is apparently going to be upgradeable, though firmware patches, to connect to the new high-speed network later this year.

Other features of the Xoom include a rear and front camera for video calls and taking pictures, as well as integrated video chat support for the pre-installed Google Talk app. It also has an HDMI out port, so you can watch your HD content in 1080p on any HDTV.

We know it looks cool. We know it sounds great. The only thing we don't know is how much it'll cost. That one little detail will be revealed at a later time.