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Motorola’s Xoom Tablet Sales Have Started ‘Relatively Well’

Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., which began selling its Xoom tablet computer last week, said sales have started “relatively well” at Verizon Wireless and it plans to introduce tablets with other carriers this year.

Motorola Mobility will introduce models this year based on Google Inc.’s Android software that are smaller than the 10-inch Xoom, Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Jha told analysts at a conference today in San Francisco. He didn’t name any of the carriers that will offer the new models.

Jha plans to offer a variety of tablet sizes and features to counter the wide appeal of the market-industry leading Apple Inc.’s iPad, which comes in a single 9.7-inch format. Motorola Mobility is negotiating to supply tablets to a range of companies that want to use the Xoom because of how it can be adapted to specific needs, Jha said.

“One reason they like it is that it’s more customizable” than rival devices, said Jha.

The Xoom costs $799, compared with $729 for a similarly equipped iPad with 32 gigabytes of memory and third-generation wireless technology. The Xoom will be upgradable to faster 4G networks, which helps justify the price premium, Jha has said.

Motorola Mobility wants “people to make a choice based on the capabilities we deliver rather than just price,” the CEO told reporters in Barcelona earlier this month.

Jha, who is rebuilding Motorola on the Android operating system, said the company plans to make more small acquisitions to differentiate itself from rival handset makers that also use Android like Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp. Buying small software developers with less than 30 people should make Motorola Mobility a more “software-centric company,” Jha said.

Motorola Mobility fell 41 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $30.20 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has gained 3.8 percent this year

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