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Motorola Xoom not ready for prime time? Android Market lags behind iOS

by Kristen Nicole

It’s nearly show time for the highly anticipated Motorola (MMI) Xoom. The Android tablet is available for pre-order at Best Buy days before its launch date on Thursday, priced comparably to the iPad at $799. But the Xoom, which sports Android’s new Honeycomb 3.0 OS, might be shipping without one of its most competitive features -- Flash.

Engadget cites a Verizon (VZ) ad stating Adobe (ADBE) Flash won’t be available for the Motorola Xoom until this spring, tacking on weeks of waiting for early buyers. Flash’s presence on Android devices has been a saving grace for Adobe, which has yet to crack Apple’s (AAPL) mobile market as they push for HTML5. Tablets, with their media-centric features and large scale for mobile browsing, are a big opportunity for Adobe, but perhaps they’re not quite ready for prime time.

Android Market falls short

Apple’s winning in another aspect of this modern mobile war, as a recent IHS Screen Digest report shows the App Store is dominating the mobile app marketplace. Looking at the four major app markets, the Apple App Store takes up nearly 83 percent of market share, leaving the Android Market, Nokia’s (NOK) Ovi store and RIM’s (RIMM) AppWorld to divvy up the rest. The report goes on to note that the Android Market came in last in terms of revenues generated, with Apple taking the lead in this category as well. In-app purchases weren’t accounted for, and this is an increasingly important area for Google’s (GOOG) Android monetization plans.

Google’s got some other Market improvements in the pipeline, including a dedicated media download interface. Freshly activated URLs for the Android Market act as place settings for Books, Music and Movies, hinting at Google’s plans to provide its own services around these media fronts. It’s a move that makes Android’s capabilities more competitive with Apple’s, which already incorporates your iTunes music, movies and books.