Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI), whose Xoom is the first tablet to run on Google's tablet-specific OS Honeycomb, is said to have missed the opportunity in the tablet market as the initial sales of Xoom is rumored to be weak.
Sales of MMI's Xoom are still in their initial phase, but we believe MMI has missed an opportunity to make its mark in the market by initially targeting value vs. volume, Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron wrote in a note to clients.
The analyst also cut his price target on Motorola Mobility stock to $32 from $36.
..while some of the Xoom's challenges reflect an immature Android tablet OS and Apple's early mover advantage and aggressive pricing, we feel MMI could have done a better job , Kidron said.
Kidron believes Motorola Mobility missed an opportunity to drive volume by introducing its priciest Xoom first instead of a full range of tablets at the same time, as Apple does. With no clear timing/pricing for the rest of its portfolio, interested buyers are not likely to wait.
Xoom is available for $800 at Verizon Wireless, with WiFi-only version priced at around $600.
MMI is in a complicated situation with a missed tablet opportunity and growing competitive headwinds in its core smartphone business, the analyst said.
After a few days with Motorola's Xoom, the analyst's overall impression is positive, but he feels a lot of work is required to customize the device compared to the out-of-the-box simplicity offered by the iPad and iPad 2.
Also, some Xoom features have yet to be activated and the availability of tablet-specific Android apps is still limited. .
However, the analyst believes Motorola Mobility has another opportunity if it introduces a refresh in October for the portfolio, distancing itself from Apple's annual iPad upgrade cycle.
The analyst also sees another opportunity if Motorola Mobility reduces dependency on the unproven carriers, going with a full range of tablets simultaneously.
We put low odds on this happening, Kidron wrote.
Kidron, who maintains his outperform rating on Motorola Mobility stock, said the shares are under-owned and with cash at about 45 percent of the company's market cap.
..we believe a too-bearish scenario is built into expectations, Kidron said.
Shares of Motorola Mobility were down 54 cents or 2.19 percent at $24.15 in Tuesday's morning trade on the NYSE.