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Motorola's Xoom 2 is coming to the UK and Ireland first. Where does this media tablet fit in the increasingly crowded market?

In its most recent financial quarter, Motorola Mobility announced it had shipped only 100,000 additional Xoom media tablets. While widely viewed as selling poorly, this decrease in product volume could be attributed to phasing out the original product in advance of the second-generation Xoom 2.

Unlike the Xoom launch in February 2011, Motorola Mobility faces much stronger competition from a broader cast of media tablet players, including: Acer, ASUS, HTC, LG, RIM and Sony among others. The most noticeable difference between the first and second-generation Xoom models is the cut corner mechanical design. While the supplier says the shape change makes it easier to hold the product, one has to wonder if the legal spat between Apple and Samsung over visual identity also motivated the change.

Xoom 2 won’t be the first media tablets to launch in Western Europe. Both Samsung and ViewSonic launched their first media tablets in the region as well. The bigger news with the Xoom 2 launch is the 8.2” Media Edition model. This is a smaller display than the standard Xoom and Xoom 2 models with an emphasis on the media playback experience.ABI Research isinterested in seeing how consumers respond to the two models and if new use cases for the media tablet emerge.

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