The Motorola XOOM might have a fighting chance against the iPad 2 when it comes to mobile phone operators as they appear to be keener than Apple to help the carriers when it comes to subsidies.
The 32GB version of the XOOM costs £579.99 at Carphone Warehouse and the iPad 2, £579. The cheapest and best value package for the Apple iPad 2 is the £25 per month package with £279 upfront at Three Mobile cost while the best (only) similar package for the XOOM is at Carphone Warehouse with a similar monthly outlay but a cheaper £200 initial fee.
There's a £1 difference on the SIM-free models but £79 on the contracts even if Carphone Warehouse offers an unlimited data package.
It means that Motorola and Talkmobile went further to keep prices down. Unlike Three Mobile, Talkmobile is a Mobile Virtual network Operator using Vodafone for its backend. This means that its operating prices and the fact that it is is offering a flat-fee, unlimited data allowance using someone's else network means that its margins are lower than average.
Carphone Warehouse also lists Three Mobile as the other provider for the Motorola XOOM but its contract prices aren't as competitive as one would expect.
It would be interesting to see whether other major mobile phone operators, especially O2 and Vodafone, start selling the XOOM as an Android alternative if Motorola agrees to some significant concessions on pricing.