by Jin S. Kim
Tablet talk this morning brought to the front, Motorola’s realization that they put too much weight behind their 3G/4G tablet and that they should have been pushing WiFi versions from the beginning. Clearly they don’t read this site or our comments enough, or they would have know this from day 1.
He did say this though, ”Price points move much faster than we anticipated. We needed to launch globally with WiFi much earlier. You will see us launch in 2nd half with our tablets, much more aggressive form factors, much greater differentiation in terms of enterprise capability, in terms of multimedia and in terms of distribution. And potentially some marketing plans behind that.”
He is Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha who spoke at the Oppenheimer Annual Technology & Communications Conference. I don’t think it’s about WiFi only or 3G/4G tablets. It’s not just about the tablet hardware; it’s about the entire experience: touch responsiveness, US$499 starting price, the number of quality apps now and expectations of more quality apps in the future, a multimedia store with lots of music, TV shows, videos, etc., a robust cloud-based syncing service, and a brand that means something to regular folks.
Price points moved fast? The price point has been $499 for a WiFi version since the day the first iPad was announced. The entry price point for a WiFi tablet continues to be $499 today. What was Motorola anticipating.
Aggressive form factors. Instead of form factors that are aggressive, what Motorola might want to think deeply about is how folks use and want to use tablets. And make one.
Enterprise capability. Why do you think the iPad has been penetrating into the enterprise space despite the lack of any marketing by Apple? Because the iPad has enterprise capability? Motorola might want to rethink its enterprise strategy by not having differentiated enterprise capabilities. Instead, encourage software developers to bring those solutions to a capable but neutral Motorola tablet.
Distribution is going to be tough. Unless you have retail stores like Apple, the retail experience, in the US at least, will be subpar. I don’t think a company like Motorola can really do much about distribution, in the U.S. or globally.
From what I can tell, Motorola is still focused on hardware. The world has moved on. The competition, Apple really, not only has fantastic hardware, but software, apps, multimedia, cloud services, etc., all combined to offer an experience, a good one. Unless Motorola figures out how to think in terms of an overall tablet experience, it’ll continue to win the hearts and minds of only a few.