updated 05:10 pm EST, Thu March 3, 2011
Xoom with Wi-Fi only may cost just 539
A new sighting at Sam's Club may have put the price of a Wi-Fi only Motorola Xoom much lower than its 3G counterpart. A meeting and an early floor stand show the tablet costing $539, or a dramatic $261 lower than what Verizon charges for its contract-free version. Droid-Life's sources showed that the Walmart-owned chain would give users special bundles with a silicone "Protective Gel Case."
The release date for the Wi-Fi Xoom hasn't been given out, but an international debut in early April could put the American version on a similar track. It's also unclear if the Sam's Club pack would still have 32GB of storage or if it would be dropped to 16GB or less to keep the price down.
Motorola chief Sanjay Jha recently gave a ballpark figure of $600 for a Wi-Fi Xoom and suggests the Sam's Club price might be low. If a full 32GB tablet, though, the simpler version would immediately reverse a price gap between Motorola and Apple that has left the iPad 2 in a far more favorable position both for equivalent devices and with much more affordable models at the low end.
None of the involved companies have acknowledged the prices, but Motorola could use a presence at the CTIA show in Orlando late this month to unveil its plans.