The Orange View (on hiatus) Because Apple is great but it isn't perfect

20Feb/11Off

Best Buy’s bizarro world Xoom ad

Flipping through the Sunday paper adverts this morning, I came across Best Buy's first-ever ad for the new Motorola Xoom, a would-be iPad competitor, pictured above. As has been widely reported by now, the tablet costs $800 with 32 Gb of memory and both wifi and 3G connectivity. But this is one of the weirdest advertisements I have ever seen.

First, there's this crazy footnote 7 which says "To activate Wifi functionality on this device, a minimum 1 month data subscription is required."

So you think, wow, what does this incredibly scammy and customer-unfriendly phrase possibly mean? And how much does a one-month data plan cost anyway? (Verizon's logo does appear so we can guess it's on Verizon, I guess)

Surprise answer? No answer. Try and find footnote seven:

It simply does not exist, as you can see at left. It's almost like the ad copy was prepared before the companies involved had finalized their pricing plans. Or perhaps some wiser folks at the companies raised objections or kicked off a debate that wasn't settled by the time the ad copy had to be submitted to the newspaper publishers? It is the kind of suspicious missing text that would make people think this isn't a real Best Buy ad but something cooked up with Photoshop as a joke or spoof. But no, it's the real ad from today's paper.

Then comes the data plan list and it is equally, well, not all there.

Another blank. I knew Android tablets were going to have a very tough time making any headway against the iPad just on pricing and features. But if this kind of second or third-rate ad is taste of how Android tablets will be marketed against Apple's monstrously successful ad campaigns, let's just call game over right now.

Posted by Aaron Pressman

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  1. “7 doesn’t exist”… that is because it is the footnote! 7 is mentioned next to the wifi label left of the tablet image.

  2. Dude, the second picture *is* footnote 7.

  3. In my copy of the ad, the rate plan table is filled with barely readable gray text. ($20/mo for 1 GB up to $60/mo for 10GB) Still no sign of footnote 7, however.

  4. One reason could be that Motorola thinks Apple’s going to drop a bomb come later this week and and say lower the price of the existing iPAD line by $100 per model.

    Thus making going with Motorola’s tablet even that less attractive.

    That will be win-win for Apple. It will differentiate them clearly in terms of price, clear out all the existing inventories, and set Apple up for the launch of the iPAD 2.

  5. As for Google’s Android, anyone with a reasonable technical background can tell you that it’s a huge mess. I liken it to the F Troop of OSes.

    My reference may be before your time. WIKI it.


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