TECH
02/17/2011 10:47 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Motorola Defends Xoom Tablet's Steep Price

Motorola Mobility chairman and CEO Sanjay Jha has opened up and revealed U.S. pricing details for the highly anticipated Xoom tablet, which will run Google's tablet-optimized Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system. The 32GB tablet with 3G will go for $799, Jha said, while the Wi-Fi version will be priced close to $599.

The Wall Street Journal writes that an $800 price tag could raise a few eyebrows in the States, where the iPad's 3G unit with 32GB of storage retails for $729. However, Jha stated that the price of the Xoom was reasonable because the device was built for eventual compatibility with Verizon's 4G network.

"We felt that our ability to deliver 50Mb/s would justify the $799 price point. It is 32GB with 3G and a free upgrade to 4G. Being competitive with iPad is important. We feel that from the hardware and capabilities we deliver we are at least competitive and in a number of ways better [than the iPad]," Jha said in an interview at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, according to WSJ.

The Wi-Fi version of the Motorola Xoom does not yet have a definite price tag, but Jha said that it would be "meaningfully cheaper" than the 3G model and will probably resemble the $599 price tag that the non-3G iPad bears.

Though Jha did not mention the Xoom's release date, the tablet is likely to launch in the United States on February 24.