Analyst: Xoom Struggles, Honeycomb Dead-On-Arrival

Android flagship tablet Xoom (from Motorola Mobility) isn’t selling, according to Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdry. The analyst believes that Motorola Mobility (MMI) has sold between 25,000 and 120,000 units so far out of the 500,000-800,000 estimated to have been manufactured. Worse still for Android tablets as a whole, Mr. Chowdry said that Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” — the tablet version of Android that runs on the Xoom — is “dead on arrival.”

In a research note obtained by Fortune and AllThingsD, Mr. Chowdry told clients that Honeycomb is “incomplete” and “unstable,” and that it has a “poor UI.” That has contributed to the Xoom selling just 5% - 15% of the 500,000 - 800,000 units Motorola Mobility manufactured (MMI will announce first quarter results on Thursday, April 28th). By comparison, Apple sold 4.69 million iPads during the March quarter.

The analyst’s comments about Honeycomb largely echo a report from Taiwanese newspaper DigiTimes from earlier this month. The tech publication said that Xoom sales have been “disappointing,” and it quoted component suppliers who said that Honeycomb had “several issues” and that it was unstable. The Global Equities research note puts a number on those “disappointing” sales.

Mr. Chowdry went further in his criticism of MMI’s strategy, saying that the company’s “competitive fixation” with Apple and Research In Motion is “misplaced.” Rather than trying to out-innovate either of those two companies, Mr. Chowdry believes MMI should instead use its broad mobile patent portfolio to “selectively attack […] other Android phone OEM’s.”

As mentioned above, MMI announces earnings on Thursday, April 28th. Many will be watching that report for news on how well the Android market is doing taking on iPad and iPad 2, and for news on whether the addition of Verizon as an iPhone carrier is affecting sales of Motorola’s Android smartphones. Mr. Chowdry believes that that the Verizon iPhone deal “has taken the wind” out of Android’s sails.

MMI closed lower on Monday, ending the day at US$23.93, down $0.99 (-3.97%), on strong volume of 2.4 million shares trading hands.

AAPL closed up at $353.009, a gain of $2.313 (+0.66%), on very light volume of 9.5 million shares.