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The Making of the Motorola XOOM tablet

In today’s world of choice, feeling good about your purchase is important. Being able to tell a story is important. Feeling like the people who made the product actually care about what they’ve made is important.

In the bad old days of mobile, I often used to attend the most lacklustre device launches you could imagine. At the end of the presentations, I’d invariably ask a question from the back along the lines of, ‘what do you think of it?’ or ‘what phone are you using?’

I was always surprised by the amount of times the CEO or C-level person (or worse, the sodding product manager responsible for the device) would respond with an answer like, ‘well, I don’t really like QWERTY phones’ or ‘I’m not much of a fan of camera phones really.’

It took me a long time to eventually realise that most folk in some key positions in the mobile industry were just pushing paper about. It’s still a shock to meet a disinterested, couldn’t-give-a-toss product manager or senior whatsit at a product launch. It’s fascinating to ask them questions about their product because they generally can’t be bothered to lie, spin or be at least a little creative. Then when I get to my computer, I find it really difficult to summon up any will to write about the resulting output.

So it’s nice to see the care and attention radiating from the Motorola XOOM team. First we had the scene setting (“Tablet Evolution presented by Motorola“), then we got the introductory product video and now we’ve got ‘the making of’ video which I’ve embedded below.

In that video you’ll see a few fancy-angle shots of Motorola XOOM people talking about designing and using the Evolution tablet. The film looks good. It sounds good. It’s very well made. It’s rather Apple-esque in that the people featured appear competent and passionate. Clearly a lot of thought went into the marketing of the XOOM. And one would hope that the presentation effort will be commensurate with the product. After watching the video, I came away with the impression that — yes — however the XOOM actually performs, it should perform well.

To the industry I say: More of this please. More passion, more excitement, more confidence.

I look forward to checking out the XOOM.

Here’s the vid…


  1. these are same people who promised to upgrade Motorola xt720 to froyo. And to fix 720p recording at measly 18 fps. Now, they continue to promise to upgrade this and fix that, and I simply do not trust them anymore.

  2. It’s funny – this used to be my favorite thing about Nokia – most of the Nokians that I met, with a few exceptions, of course, were die-hard Nokia fans, and not because that’s who paid their rent each month. I’d talk to Product Managers whose eyes lit up when they saw me fiddling with their phone – it was their pride and joy, and the sight of someone else experiencing it for the first time visibly gave them immense personal satisfaction.

    A big telling observation, though, is when Nokia started shifting from being hardware focused to trying to come up with all these software……things. I can count on one hand the number of Nokians working on a software solution who were as excited about their product.

    Two notable standouts were Mark Wheatley, who does Ovi Music and was responsible for the Nokia PC Music Player (horrid name, I know). I hated the software, and repeatedly told Mark why, and he would repeatedly tell me how awesome these other new features were though – it was blatantly obvious that he lived and breathed the app. The other is Davis Fields, who used to work solely on Nokia Email (now called Nokia Messaging for Email) (before it started sucking). Davis oozed passion, and it showed – the system and software used to get a TON of attention in terms of updates, before Nokia stupidly baked it into the firmware and killed the experience entirely (it actually worked better on the N97 than it does on the N8, if that’s imaginable).

    I’m glad to see Motorola being proud of what they’ve built. Honestly, from the videos and reviews and such, I can honestly say that the Xoom tablet, aside from the horrid name, is the first and only Motorola product I have ever *actively* wanted.

  3. “To the industry I say: More of this please. More passion, more excitement, more confidence.”

    I agree with you, I really agree !

  4. You’re right, it’s pleasing to see a mobile product development team which is really excited about its product. Aside from Steve Jobs who always looks really confident in Apple’s products during his keynote, most CEOs look bored even *before* they’ve started presenting!
    The best example is Steve Ballmer: he seemed so dispassionate and detached when he presented Windows Mobile 7 a few months ago!

    And we’re also really happy to see this dazzling comeback from Motorola.
    Who could have guessed that they could come up with two such innovative products – the Xoom and the Atrix – after how they’d been going?

    The ON team

  5. “is the first and only Motorola product I have ever *actively* wanted.” Couldn’t have said it any better myself. The Xoom’s display is reason enough that I want to get it. I work at DISH Network and currently use my G2 with my Sling Adapter hooked to my 722k to watch live streaming content with the DISH Remote Access app. It is great on my G2 and comes in handy when I am traveling. On the Xoom display I am sure that it would look amazing!


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