updated 11:40 am EST, Mon March 7, 2011
Rumor has Xoom Wi-Fi due in US for early April
(Update: leaked docs confirm it) Motorola's promised but still immaterial Wi-Fi-only Xoom may have finally received a release date through a rumor on Monday morning. The stripped down version of the recently reviewed tablet is believed to be surfacing in Staples' circulars for the week of April 3, suggesting a release in the first full week of next month. The Droid-Life contacts didn't know the price but were being given online training to help sell the Android 3.0 machine.
A version without 3G has been mentioned for a long time but has never been given more than abstract release targets. Its importance has grown in recent days since many have balked at the $800 price for a 3G Xoom at Verizon versus an iPad 2. Apple's new tablet costs $730 for the same 3G and 32GB of space, and users can pay as little as $499 if they don't care for 3G or can manage with 16GB of storage.
The earlier Sam's Club leak had put the price at $539, possibly making it as much or more competitive than the iPad. It's unknown whether this will include 32GB of storage, however, and it may need to move to 16GB at such a price.
Update: A leaked note from the same sources has shown Xoom sales training starting on March 23. The same tip also had BlackBerry PlayBook training starting on March 30, suggesting that RIM was misleading when it gave a March date and that it might not be truly ready until April.