Motorola Xoom to launch Feb. 17, cost $699-$799

motorola-xoom-tablet-professional-picture

Supposed employees of Best Buy and Verizon have leaked release date and pricing info for the Motorola Xoom tablet (complete impressions), but we keep hearing conflicting reports. These are rumors,with pictures to back them up, nothing more.

Xoom to launch on Feb. 17

Engadget has received a hot tip from someone claiming to be a Best Buy employee. The tipster cites an internal Best Buy document (seen below) that pegs the tablet at a Feb. 17, 2011 release date. The retail chain will receive its shipments on the 16th. The anonymous source also tells the site that it will launch with 32GB of storage and price in at $699.99–a price that (sort of) comes into conflict with our next rumor.

motorola-xoom-best-buy-leak-engadget-jan-2011

Xoom to cost $799, HTC Thunderbolt $249

AndroidCentral got its hands on an actual table (seen below) showing the Motorola Xoom with a MAP (minimum advertised price) of $799.99. This picture comes from an anonymous source claiming to work for Verizon Wireless. The document also pins the recently unveiled HTC Thunderbolt 4G at $249, with a contract.

motorola-xoom-htc-thunderbolt-leaked-pic-price-jan-2011

Conclusion

While the February 17 release date sounds plausible, the price of the Motorola Xoom is still up for debate. It’s possible that the Xoom will cost $700-$800, but both price points look like suicide on ink. A 64GB 3G iPad cost $829; why would someone pay an equal amount for a device with half the storage (Xoom has 32GB)? Also, keep in mind that Apple sells a 16GB Wi-Fi model for $499–that is the price to match. Hopefully, the non-3G version of the Xoom (if there is one) will have a more competitive price. The 32GB Wi-Fi iPad costs $599.99. Xoom shouldn’t be a penny more. People will pay a premium to buy Apple products, but I’m not sure Motorola has the following to demand a high price for its first tablet.

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