Dec 05 AT 5:20 PM Taylor Wimberly 113 Comments

Verizon confirms new Motorola tablets will flop this month

Motorola Xoom 2

The original Motorola Xoom enjoyed a brief moment as the best Android tablet, but that’s not much to brag about. Being first didn’t stop it from becoming a huge disappointment or a horrible retail flop. We say it was the best Android tablet mainly because it was the first to feature Honeycomb, but Motorola was quickly overshadowed by the wave of tablets from ASUS, HTC, Samsung and many others.

Sales of the Xoom were worse than thought and Motorola didn’t even make the list of top tablet brands in Q4, but that hasn’t stopped Verizon from deciding to support the follow-up product. Today Verizon Wireless announced the 1 year anniversary of their 4G LTE network and also let it slip that “two hot new [LTE] tablets from Motorola” would be coming out this month.

Apparently Verizon wants nothing to do with the “Xoom 2″ branding, so those two hot new Motorola tablets will go by the names Xyboard 10.1 and Xyboard 8.2.

Full device specs were revealed last month when Motorola announced the WiFi-only Xoom 2, but here’s a quick refresher of what to expect from Verizon’s new tablets.

Highlights of the Motorola Xyboard include:

  • Android 3.2 Honeycomb at launch
  • 8.2- or 10.1-inch IPS display with Gorilla Glass
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core OMAP4 processor
  • 5 MP rear camera
  • 1.3 MP front facing camera
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB internal storage
  • Verizon 4G LTE connectivity

Verizon declined to announce the official release date and pricing of the Xyboards, but those details were also leaked last month.

Rumored on-contract pricing of the Verizon Motorola Xyboard LTE  includes:

  • 8-inch screen — 16GB storage — $429.99
  • 8-inch screen — 32GB storage — $529.99
  • 10-inch screen — 16GB storage — $529.99
  • 10-inch screen —  32GB storage — $629.99
  • 10-inch screen — 64GB storage — $729.99

If those prices seem a little high, you aren’t the only one thinking that. Several of our readers have wondered how Motorola could compete at those prices. One said, ”I have a feeling that the ASUS Prime will be flying off the shelves while the Xyboard will be left on the shelf gathering dust.”

We have already witnessed the Amazon Kindle Fire become the best selling Android tablet with a price of only $199, but the sold-out ASUS Transformer Prime has also demonstrated that consumers are willing to spend $499-599 on a high-end device.

Unfortunately, the Xyboard does not feature a low price like the Kindle Fire or fast quad-core processor like the Transformer Prime, so there are no compelling reasons for Verizon customers to rush out and purchase this device.

I’m no product marketing genius, but I predict the Xyboard is going to flop badly. Do you see any advantages that Motorola offers over the competition?

Source: Verizon

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Josh Fowler

    Sorry, but without a Tegra 3, these tablets suck. Who would buy this over the Transformer Prime? Plus, these tablets appear to have been “blurred” a bit. Annoying, useless, and pretentious on Motorola’s part. Nobody wants their crapware, bloatware, or software mods of ANY kind given how shoddy they are. The Xoom 4G update fiasco was just that – a total and utter fiasco and put a permanent bad taste in the mouth of those who put faith in Motorola.

    Sorry, Moto, your time is over. Time to move aside for Samsung.

    • Alexis Piraina

      “Who would buy this over the Transformer Prime ?”
      An amateur (read : a person over 60 years), convinced by a very persuasive Verizon seller with a high rate prime on this.



      • gadgetaddict

        I am over 60, keep current with all tech, and purchase way too many devices aka gadgets. As another poster mentioned, tech savy is age independent. I know many in my age bracket that are very tech savy, and many 20 to 30 year olds who have been brainwashed into buying / praising the device that comes in one size fits all configuration, and do not know (nor care) about the tech spec of their fashionable device, or the competition.

        • Alexis Piraina

          Yes, There are always exceptions. I know such. As i also know a lot of young fellow who don’t know how to start a computer…
          But anyway, my comment will not mean anything in 60 years ahah !

    • Crickerman

      And Asus!

    • Adam

      If i was in the market for a tablet that did not need a WiFi connection, I would consider it, but probably still pass based on the price (if those are indeed the ON contract prices they are incredibly too high)

    • Nedjo

      hmm… all “non-NV-fanboy” sites didn’t find any real benefit of T3 inside Prime, compared to T2 inside Transformer 1… so you have couple of good looking gaming demos, so what? how many people diced on Tablet purchase based on gaming preferences?

      Also worth mentioning is the fact that ICS, just like Honeycomb IS NOT Quad-Core aware (optimized)… hell ARM V7a architecture is not! Only upcoming update of the architecture planned for Cortex-A15 processors will move in “beyond two cores” age!

      T3 is PhD of NVIDIA’s masterful PR engine that’s in a league above guys from Qualcomm, TI, Samsung, Marvel… hell anyone in ARM world! NVIDIA honed their skills against processor juggernauts – Intel and AMD, and they know best how to play PR/Marketing game in ARM world!

      Add in to the mix low level of tech knowledge from the “journalists” in mobile/tablet/phone (one word – gadget) world and you have perfect mix for post like yours – no disrespect!

      Still fact that reference processor for ICS is TI’s OMAP series 4 (Dual-Core) means, that those XOOM 2 tablets will work same or better with ICS, than Asus Prime!! ;-)

      To conclude this is just beginning of Motos’ revival (they should used “revival” for tablet name ;-) )

    • Sean the Electrofreak

      At least this SoC has NEON; leaving an HD media encoder/decoder out of Tegra 2 was a huge mistake by NVIDIA, even if they were pressed for time due to production headlines. Tablets should NOT struggle to play HD video.

      • darkhorse166

        Yeah, leaving NEON out was a mistake from a performance perspective, but I think NV was having thermal and clock issues with Tegra 2 as it was without the extra die area and transistor count that including NEON would’ve incurred. Clearly NV’s managed to solve enough of the issues they were having to include an MPE into Tegra 3, but even that has clock issues.

    • Androidcrazed6

      You are right that Tegra 3 is around the corner but it does’t deny the fact that Motorola is crafting great devices and i would take this than to buy the Ipad 2 or 3 or anything Apple. And personally i would go to try them out first and/or watch video reviews and comparisons before writing uneducated comments about things you have never seen or experienced. And who knows maybe the Xoom 2 will be just a bit slower or even the same speed with Prime (BTW not very possible but could). Dont get me wrong the Prime is an awesome tablet im just saying that you shouldnt write comments saying that Moto Blur is useless and pretentious because some people actually like Blur because of its 3d animations it comes with like htc sense.

    • pikahatonjon

      i wouldnt be surprised if these new motorola tablets do flop.


      I think the only way to beat Transformer Prime is either equipping the Xyboard with a more powerful specs or carries a price cheaper than Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

  • kevin charliethesuperturtle

    Transformer prime ftw
    Cheaper and betters!!!!
    Did I mentioned more powerful?

    • WarDrake

      Also, more stylish and way better named ^^

      • Alex

        Amen on the name. If Motorola thinks that putting random letters into their product names to stand in for syllable sounds will win them any popularity contests then they are sorely mistaken.

        • Crickerman

          And they need to stop releasing multiple “sequels” of the same product within the same year… the atrix 2 and now this… they aren’t even really upgrades

        • stenzor

          Next up: Motorola XVRZROOMPA

          • thunsaker

            I can’t tell if that is a vacuum or a phone!

  • Anthony Domanico

    Future Marketing Meeting at Verizon and Motorola, where the entire crew gets fired:

    “But…but…. the name sounds like Cyborg. It should have sold millions.”

    • stenzor

      “We are the Xyboard. You will be assimilated.”

      • WarDrake

        as much as i am for Star Trek references… this one didn’t quite make it ^_^

        • stenzor

          Neither will the Xyboard

          • kazahani


  • Vitti

    Are they serious with those names? Specs look decent, but not for that price point.

  • Hong Wu

    No one’s gonna buy a tablet w/ 2-yr contract.

    • darkhorse166

      This is basically Motorola and Verizon taking a leaf out of the book of the AT&T/HTC JetStream pricing debacle and thinking “Hey, maybe we can do this too!”


    • msgnyc

      Especially at those ridiculous prices.
      I dont even want what they were smoking when they decided on those on contract prices.
      I don’t do crack.

  • Steve Bornstein

    I don’t know what the geniuses at Motorola are thinking, here. Less memory than the Prime, less powerful than the Prime, and way more expensive than the Prime? Maybe they’re just banking on people not doing their homework and walking into a VZW store and going, “Oooooh, the new Xoom tablet! I want one!”

    • ZRod

      Sadly that will happen. These reps want their commission and will oversell thiscuz their life really does depend on it.

    • masterpfa

      Come on VZW you are not like the team from Cupertino and neither are your customers blind followers who buy whatever you bring out.
      Really are you sure with these Price Points and with technology shortly to be surpassed???

      I agree with the OP
      But I will quite gladly be proved wrong, you are heading for an embarrassing almighty flop.

    • Futureboy

      Come on, don’t you know by now that that is precisely Motorola’s business model?
      “Build overpriced, under-spec’d devices and throw a boat load of marketing money at it hoping we don’t lose our asses.”

      • msgnyc

        You forgot the last part.
        Then look lost and confused. “I don’t know why noones is buying our tablets….”
        o_O? Idjits…….

  • Inquizitor

    Perfect title because Verizon’s confirmation of the name “DROID Xyboard” was essentially the death sentence for these tablets.

  • ccraig13

    Have they learned nothing this year?

    • pekosROB

      Seriously, I believe they were sleeping in class instead of taking notes and asking for the link to the power point slides. I honestly believe if Motorola hired people to monitor forums, message boards, and gadget sites they would actually build a better product.

  • Patricio Acuña

    motorola its just playing dead, so is verizon.

    high prices for mid range tablets? i pass

  • Kevin Amundson

    There is no reason I would spend this kind of money on just a Xyboard when I can get a Transformer Prime for less. Wow Motorola must have missed the marketing 101 memo…

    • pekosROB

      Not just the Marketing 101 memo, but pretty much every other memo the consumer and market has had for Motorola. I really want them to succeed, I really do! They are one of the biggest American companies in the Android landscape, I mean it’s them, Samsung, HTC, and everyone else.

      • Patricio Acuña

        no the memos dont go so recently they missed out the red numbers on the XOOM sales >_>

        i like the lastest motorola phones the rzr is just wow, but this tablets are just another batch of your “generic android tablet”

  • M3rc Nate

    Couldnt agree more with this article. I have NO interest in the Xoom 2 (or w/e its called) considering its very high price to low specs ratio. They need to sell the 16Gb at $449 or hell even less considering for $50 you get the T-Prime.

    I am confused, so Verizon is re branding them as the Xyboard’s? (HORRIBLE name). So they are the Xoom 2′s, but just a different name? Lame. I had no issue with the Xoom name, it had no connotation as anything but a good tablet to me personally. In fact IMO being the Xoom 2 would have helped if they had released it with ICS and a really amazing Dual core (or quad obviously).

    Average products with extremely above average prices will always fail unless made by Apple, when will these companies learn to push the spec envelope or have a very low price (like Amazon Fire).

    Overall, i dont care. Im just happy to see it sucks because that makes any hesitation of buying the Asus T-Prime go away. T-Prime’s biggest competition will probably be its successor a year from now. Sad.

  • pekosROB

    I honestly feel like the Xyboard will flop even worse than the Xoom.

    Why? Because at least the Xoom had marketing (remember the Super Bowl ad?) and the Xoom didn’t have a “failure” before it (i.e. the horrible Xoom sales didn’t exist before the Xoom was sold). The people that don’t know the Xyboard is a follow up to the Xoom 2 will be those who don’t read up on tablets on a daily basis like we do; I surmise there is nothing stopping them except for maybe screen size to pick up something half the price like the Nook tablet or Kindle Fire.

    Motorola needs to be competitive in either hardware or pricing. Either be just as good in hardware if not better or have a great price. They missed it with both on this one, trying to offer a device with ok hardware with a premium price tag. If it were $300-400 range, maybe they’d have a chance. But again, how would they differentiate themselves with all the other competitors around when someone can go slightly cheaper for less or slightly more for more.

  • Trinhbo

    Ugly aesthetics. No expandable memory. Inflated prices for last generation’s hardware specs. Looks like a recipe for failure to me.

  • stenzor

    Verizon Wireless should rename to “Verizon Tasteless”

  • mavensage

    The Wi-Fi Xoom is a solid device and I love mine but neither of those two seem like real upgrades and the prices are as bad as the Xoom’s used to be.

    • gadgetaddict

      Bought the WiFi Xoom when it was released because it was the reference platform. I use the Xoom every morning for about half hour before I go out for the day, and it has been very stable, reliable, and works as fine as other Android tablets. and iPads I own. If I read correctly, those listed prices are contract prices which seem high considering you have a contract commitment as well.

      • sdunathan

        I bought mine and had some re-boot issues…swapped it out and had force closes. Didn’t even bother to root it, just finally returned it before my 30 days was up. Wouldn’t even consider the 2nd generation. I’m waiting for my Transformer Prime to be delivered.

        • gabrielle allaway

          igot this so i’d be able to use with my droid razr & the motocast capability. but guess what?! i’m having the same issues with my xyboard: all i get is my apps force closing & the tablet constantly locking up!!!!!!!!! sending back to motorola for fix, but don’t think it’ll actually work. (sigh) i’ll be buying a samsung galaxy tab 8.9 or toshiba thrive 7″ this week….

          yep. just another motorola/verizon rip-off…

  • Louis Atu

    Haha I like the tittle of the article. “Verizon confirms new Motorola will “flop” next month” lol. Drop the damn Galaxy Nexus verizon

  • DroidSamurai

    I am actually not surprise with the price point. Just look back all the talks from Moto in the last year. They obviously thought that they are back in full force and extremely proud of their offerings (I guess they only compared their products to thin air.)

  • akareem89

    Really?? Am i the only one that thinks Verizon is ran by incompetent fools? First their onslaught of phones with minimal upgrades- Droid 3, Bionic, Droid 4, the way they are handling the Nexus ordeal, and now their tablets.

  • cmorris

    How can they expect these to compete? Even if they weren’t horribly named they are simply inferior products.

  • Billy

    Xyboard …. I just can’t even get passed the name. It could be Hexacore and I would still have this puzzled, contorted look on my face as I try and pronounce Xyboard. … Why Board?


  • mikeyDroid

    You’d think they learned with the Xoom’s price point… smh…

  • YMS123

    Transformer Prime > Xyboard
    Price of Xyboard > Price of Prime

  • Deeds

    This tablet will be just as bad as the Xoom because it doesn’t have Tegra 3 and it’s also launching with Honeycomb, so it’s basically a Xoom with tiny spec bumps

  • SCJaredJ

    If you price it like cell phones, it’s probably priced right: $529 outright, $179 w/ 2 year contract….maybe drop it to free w/ contract after a couple of months. That would make sense, and possibly move a few. Problem is they haven’t bought into this pricing model for tablets yet and still expect a premium price coupled with premium data plan.

  • FutureShock

    Price is way too high to compete and the name is just ridiculous. You would think Motorola would have learned after the Xoom flopping so hard.

  • James Conley

    Motorola from my experience makes pretty things that don’t really work up to par even their dumb phones back in the day.

  • br14n

    They’re gonna let pricing doom them again. Silly.

  • zyphbear

    i’ve never been a fan of the naming theme they went with. So at I can at least agree I didn’t like the “Zoom” (er, Xoom), but the Keyboard (er, Xyboard). Though you would think they would learn that the price point may have been a reason as to why it didn’t sell well. You would have thought that once they sold the iPad2, that they saw the pricing and that is what helped sales.

    Short answer: Get a better pricing structure to compete with iPad, not try to make it cost more. Also give it a better name that is easy to remember, easy to spell and easy to pronounce.

  • Oscar Ortega

    I believe if you say Xyboard three times in the bathroom with lights off and look at the mirror you will be able to see Xyboard future. :0

  • humidity

    Asus Transformer Prime FTW!

  • thekaz

    ugh… I realize it is likely to avoid dealing with Apple’s lawyers, but the new styling is not one I care for…

  • ffff00

    No selling points at all, I would not be surprised if it did flop.

  • Danthes24

    will see if this tablet overruns the Asus Transformer Prime

  • donger

    I still have my xoom and i’m happy with it. This is not a worthy upgrade.

  • Luke Haviland

    why would anyone release anything before ICS is out? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Joshua Melling

      And without a tegra three for the same price!

      • GUI_Center

        Yup no tegra 3! MMMM Transformer Prime :D

  • J

    Wow. They may as well as named those “Giant Steaming Bowls of Vomit”.

  • CJ LaFleur

    I think vzw is gonna make themselves look bad by endorsing these. W/o a tegra 3 inside it wont sell. That and the fact “xyboard” is the worst tablet name EVER! motorola and vzw will be embarassing themselves. I bet it wont even get ics lol.

    • Dan13

      Not only will they look bad endorsing these, but they way they’re messing up the galaxy nexus is really making them look bad.

  • Michael C.

    $429.99, $529.99, $629.99, $729.99… I know there’s all this marketing science behind these kinds of prices, but am I the only one sick and tired of all the $XX9.99 prices frikkin’ everywhere? I mean, how sad is it when you see something advertised for “Less than $100″ and you just know that it’s $99.99 (or $99.95)? Just never seemed honest to me.

    Retailers: Price your wares at round numbers and quit wearing out my screen’s #9 pixels!


  • phaet2112

    I can only think this is a specific attempt by verizon to finish off a contract with motorola to release a motorola specific tablet. Only way the crazy price, spec list, and name would make sense.

  • kazahani

    Obviously Motorola sees themselves as a premium brand.

    They need a(nother) reality check.

  • mikeytusa

    Someone should have Motorola’s marketing department talk to actual consumers when considering product names. Xyboard? Sigh.

  • Nathan D.

    And the winner is asus transformer prime

  • eioous

    They really need to look at those specs again and slap a quad-core in there.

  • spintrex

    I think you really nailed it … if you don’t want to spend a lot go for Kindle fire and if you really want a tablet machine then Asus prime is up your ally. Then you have the competition of the iPad so its actually quite easy to disregard Motorola’s tablet lineup.

    Honeycomb with a dual core processor used to be hot but now its not. Unfortunately the specs aren’t there and with the same amount of money consumers can get more bang with their buck.

  • Adryan maldonado

    It’s too late to the party. It’s over priced for no good reason. The only difference is the body and moto splash guard. Not that great. Now these new names for the tablets are stupid and I think Verizon doesn’t want them to sale.

  • King Chris Scott

    Im sorry but $429 for the 8″ is WAY too much to pay for this tab, thats why people are getting the Transformer Prime cuz it will do everything that this moto will do and WAY WAY WAY more, The Trans. Prime is the most laptop like tablet to hit the market and I cant wait to get my hands on it :)

  • ndub21

    Too little too late. The Transformer Prime will blow this thing away. I like the new standard set by the Transformer Prime to sell the 32gb model at the same price all the other companies are selling the 16gb. I hope that starts a new trend. Memory is crazy cheap anyway.

  • sylar

    I like the fact that this article says that they will flop at Verizon. Yea they may be a little bit late but I know plenty of people who have been brainwashed into buying crappy products by a very persuasive sales man.

  • techvudu

    These are DOA. It will be tough for anyone to get the bitter taste of the Zoom out of their mouths after last year. I think people will just wait at this point.

  • Dan13

    A ten inch screen and dual core with a WHOLE 16gb of storage! And only for $530 bucks! What a deal! *whispers nervously to a salesperson* “Alright, I’ll make up some real highlights for these comments if you let me go without making me buy the stupid xyboard.”

  • slimx30

    price fail!

  • Marc’us H.

    Verizon will confirm tablets (that aren’t even at an acceptable price range), and still hasn’t given a date on the ONE phone people want to see more than what was supposed to be the iPhone 5 (Galaxy Nexus)?

  • Shadowlore

    We currently have a number of Xooms at work, and while I’m actually fond of the design and the devices in general… I’m not sure I could openly suggest a ‘new’ version that doesn’t add a ton of new features. These devices are less of an upgrade, and when you consider we’re getting the current generation Xooms for $200… and then of course, the HORRIBLE name: Xybord.

    I think we’ll stick with the current gens :)

  • LukeT32

    Wow saaaaad pricing…

  • YNWA

    Motorola needs to pull their head out of their ass. 2 year contract at this pricing? Hilarious!

    And Xyboard? Oh GOD give me a break. We get it, you like the letter X and making everything seem like a robot birthed it out of its belly. Meanwhile us in the real world will be buying the Transformer Prime, and rooting our Kindle Fires.

    When Google takes charge they need to kill off products like this before they hit the market.

  • Chris Lewis

    so the xoom fails horribly because a quick entry of competition with better specs and lower prices. You think Motorola would learn from that and at least attempt to make their products more competitive especially now that the competition is even more steep. Do they really think that just changing the name is going increase sells?

    Maybe Google should have waited to buy motorola till after they launched these tablets probably could have saved lot. lol

  • Wojciech ZiÄ™tek

    Nothing special. Motorola could do something better than this. Hello Motorola have you heard about Tegra 3, or maybe you are still in XX century?:P

  • Ilyse Rose

    Verizon needs to get their shit together. That’s just sad.

  • Dave1746

    You can’t compare Primes with Xyboard. When you do you are comparing apples to oranges. Primes are Wi Fi only. Xyboard are both Wi Fi and 4G LTE. The Xyboard are for people who NEED and WANT connection everywhere, not just places with Wi Fi.

  • Kaote

    Dual core, Starting at $429, with the addition of a data contract if wanted seems like a bad deal.

  • frmorrison

    VZN is making a lot of mistakes. They are selling this tablet (doesn’t seem very subsidized with the 2 year plan) and still can’t give a release date for Nexus.

  • Mike Hanel

    still too expensive… rather just get cheaper priced same spec tablet and tether wifi off my phone or home internet. Not even digging the hard tapered corners that moto is putting on all their android devices. can’t see any reason to pick one of these up

  • dpleus

    The prices do seem to be a bit high, but I also realize these are going to be 4G devices, and for all intents and purposes, you would never need a High Speed Data connection so long as you live in a 4G/LTE serviced area. But for the pure and simple fact that you wind up paying Verizon for the device, and any what ever profit they make there, but you also wind up paying an additional $720+ over the lifetime of the contract in data usage.

    All that being said, if you are in a 4G area, and this is going to be your primary computing device, that’s not a bad trade off. But for someone like me, who pays for a HSD connection with their cable provider and has a desktop PC and this is a media consumption/internet browsing device, it does not make any sense to fork-over $30+ a month for a portable internet device.

    I’ll wait and see if they release a WiFi only version of the 8.2″ device. I can always pay Verizon the $20 a month for tethering on my Droid X if I desperately want a mobile data connection for the device.

  • kest009

    wow, still over priced for on contract, apparently Moto and Verizon haven’t learned anything from the Xoom product, they are absolutely in denial about the demand for this product. (plus the name is ridiculous)

  • levelm

    Just another DOA tablet in my opinion.

  • Louis Nicolaou

    Transformer prime!!!!

  • Ivan Todorov

    Can’t wait to see it in Europe.

  • hkz4lf

    I don’t get the pricing. I know the Kindle is sold at a loss but it seems that when you get over $400 you really begin to limit your market.

  • Kris Isaksen

    As soon as I saw the Transformer Prime the Xoom 2 was no longer a consideration. The Tegra 3 is too attractive…

  • Samar

    Motorola has to step up its game.

  • 12noonclock

    I don’t mind paying for a good product, but that is the key…a good product. How about some ICS, quad core, SD expansion.

  • 12noonclock

    Motorola to Tegra3…flop you!

  • coryteague

    It hurts my heart to think that I have made my way through the Moto lineup of devices since their first Android phone. All the devices that have been put out on Verizon I have owned. (thanks family plan with multiple lines of upgrade available at any given time!!) Motorola has always gotten my attention with their marketing and fancy product designs and builds but the user experience has never been up to par.

    I currently own the XOOM and like it but can’t wait for the transformer prime I pre-ordered to come in. I have decided to move away from moto-devices so will be getting the galaxy nexus when it comes out.

    I just like the notion of having a phone (RAZOR) and tablet (XYBOARD) that kinda go together aesthetically in design.

    • YMS123

      Go with the Transformer Prime, you won’t be disappointed :)

  • Sf

    I bought the xyboard 10.1….no complaints

  • Sf

    Not from Verizon I got it right from Motorola with only wifi