The Motorola Xoom is shipping this Thursday, and despite the nearness of the tablet’s arrival, a disappointing detail has slipped out just before the launch. According to screen images on the Verizon Wireless dedicated Xoom page, the device will ship without Adobe Flash. Instead, the software is expected to arrive in spring.
This detail is acutely disappointing for three primary reasons, besides the fact that Motorola has not made any sort of formal announcement, with the news only being revealed by the asterisked promotional ad from Verizon.
Reason 1: Motorola is pushing the Xoom out the door
The lack of Flash is another indicator that Motorola is rushing the Xoom to take advantage of its small window of Honeycomb exclusivity. The Xoom will also be shipping with 3G as opposed to 4G, with a free 4G upgrade planned at a later, unannounced time (an upgrade that will require customers to bring their Xoom back to a Verizon Store or Motorola outlet, though neither company has announced plan specifics).
Reason 2: Flash was a highly publicized advantage of the Xoom over the competition
Motorola’s pre-Super Bowl ad, which heavily satirized Apple, unambiguously declared that the Xoom would have Flash support. Apparently, it just didn’t mean it would have the software on time.
Reason 3: A required month of Flash-less internet
Verizon is requiring that users pay for at least one month of what will apparently be a 3G, no-Flash 10.1 data plan. Even users who would like to use their Xoom exclusively on Wi-Fi will still be forced into a pay-as-you-go plan for at least a month, since Wi-Fi will not be unlocked until a month’s worth of data plan is purchased.
Despite the pieces falling off along the way, the 3G, Android 3.0, $800 Xoom will be available at the end of this week (February 24), and can currently be pre-ordered.
Update: Adobe claims that Flash Player 10.2 will be ready “within a few weeks of Android 3 (Honeycomb) devices becoming available,” including the Motorola Xoom.