Would you pay 800 bucks for the Motorola XOOM?

Motorola, or is that Best Buy, sure knows how to dampen enthusiasm for what should otherwise be the hottest Android tablet and iPad's strongest competitor (that is, ahead of Samsung announcing the Galaxy Tab successor). I'm not paying $799.99 for the Moto XOOM? Would you? Oh, yeah, there's fine print: One month Verizon 3G data to, get this, activate the WiFi.

In business, pricing and perception are everything. Little does more to create unwanted negative perceptions than high pricing. In mass-marketing there are pricing thresholds that trigger sales, and these are particularly important when bringing new products to market against a successful and dominant competitor. For digital singles, 99 cents was it. For Amazon's Kindle: $139.

According to IDC, in the third quarter iPad had 87.4 percent share of the global media tablet market. Less than two weeks ago, I blogged "5 things every tablet needs to succeed." Among them: Price. Early last month, IDC surveyed more than 2,200 developers, who identified price (57 percent) as their top priority for tablets. So, if not the mass-market, price matters to tablet developers at least.

The iPad ranges in price from $499 to $829, with storage capacities ranging from 16GB to 64GB and some models packing only WiFi radios and others WiFi and AT&T 3G. The single XOOM model packs slightly larger display, front-and-rear facing cameras, 32GB of storage and Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb). The pricing is from a leaked Best Buy advert, which has the XOOM going on sale February 24. Over at Boy Genius Report, Andrew Munchbach expresses how others may feel: "We'll admit, we're still pretty excited about getting our hands on a Motorola XOOM… but that $800 price-tag did take a little bit of wind out of our sails (and may take a little wind out of Moto's sales)."

Yes, but how many hands realistically will reach for XOOM at 800 bucks? Now, Best Buy pricing may not reflect all pricing that may be available. Carrier-subsidized models might be available for less (We can only hope). So let me ask the question differently: After looking at the video above and the XOOM portal here, how much would XOOM be worth to you? What would you pay for the rocking Honeycomb-based tablet? Please respond in comments or e-mail joewilcox at gmail dot com.

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