More grist to the increasingly powerful “Android-tablets-are-failing” machine: in announcing its latest quarterly figures, Motorola has announced that it managed to sell just 100,000 Xoom tablets worldwide from June to September.
Yes, this is the same Motorola that Google itself has just bought, and the same Xoom tablet that was so highly regarded it was chosen as the poster boy to introduce Android Honeycomb to the world. Ouch.
Of course, we've been predicting just this kind of flat sales performance from Android slates practically since the start of the year. That was when the tech industry started spewing forth new tablets almost on a daily basis, an awful lot of them running Android, in response to the success of the iPad.
The big question at the time was did the iPad's sales success illustrate the public's appetite for the tablet, or was it proof of the public's appetite for the iPad.
Closing in on the end of the year we'd have to say it's the latter. After all, as Gizmodo helpfully points out, in the three months it took Motorola to sell 100,000 Xooms, Apple sold 11 million iPads. In other words it outsold the Xoom by more than 100:1.
In all fairness, the fact that the Xoom was chosen as the launch device for Android Honeycomb does show just how old it is, and certainly if faced with a choice of the top Android tablets right now there are more recent, and more capable, options out there.
But there's simply no way to massage these stats to make either Moto or Google look particularly good. Especially now that one actually owns the other.