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Another Strike Against Motorola Xoom?

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After releasing footage of the device in action and building up sizable anticipation, Motorola has tarnished the glossy image of its Xoom tablet.

It priced the device at $799. It made a 3G data subscription mandatory. It pushed the Wi-Fi-only model to an unspecified date. And now, one of the biggest features advertised against Apple's iPad won't be available at launch.

Although touting better specs across the board, the Motorola Xoom will not debut with Adobe Flash compatibility. According to Adobe's official blog, while the Motorola Xoom will be the first to carry the platform, Flash won't be available for "a few weeks." The blog entry reads:

"Adobe will offer Flash Player 10.2 pre-installed on some tablets and as an OTA download on others within a few weeks of Android 3 (Honeycomb) devices becoming available, the first of which is expected to be the Motorola Xoom."

But looking at the Motorola Xoom ad on Verizon's website, "a few weeks" is redefined as "at least a month."

And if you'll notice the fine print on the bottom right, it appears Flash won't technically be available until March 20.

Eric Zeman at InformationWeek speculates what the cause of the delay could be.

"First, Flash Player Mobile 10.1 may not be 100% compatible with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and Adobe or Motorola needs more time to polish it up. The second, and more likely, reason is that Motorola is waiting for Flash Player Mobile 10.2, instead. Flash 10.2 was announced in mid-February, and Adobe pointed out that 10.2 will include support for Android 3.0 Honeycomb devices as well as RIM's forthcoming PlayBook tablet."

Unfortunately, as Zeman points out, Adobe was extremely sluggish in delivering Flash Player Mobile 10.1 in 2010. And "Spring 2011" gives Adobe a lengthy window -- at least until mid-June -- to work Flash compatibility into the Motorola Xoom. Although, that might stretch the definition of "a few weeks" past the breaking point.

Nevertheless, Best Buy reports sales of Motorola Xoom pre-orders have been brisk -- with some locations selling through its initial stock for this week's launch. Hopefully, very few of those early adoptions are hinged upon Flash compatibility.

(See also: Did Motorola Price Its Xoom Tablet Out of the Market? and INFOGRAPHIC: Apple iPad, Motorola Xoom, and Other Tablets Compared)

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