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Lower-than-expected Xoom sales prompt Apple iPad competitors to delay tablets

A slow start for the Motorola Xoom tablet has reportedly convinced manufacturers to delay the release of Android 3.0 Honeycomb-based tablets as they hope to compete with Apple's iPad.

Citing sources in Taiwan, DigiTimes reported Friday that Google has been "unable to offer sufficient support" for its partners with regards to Android 3.0. Issues with the tablet-centric mobile operating system have allegedly forced manufacturers to delay the launch of Honeycomb-powered devices.

Specifically, Asustek Computer is said to have postponed the launch dates of its Eee Pad Transformer tablets to the end of April and to May. Originally, they were supposed to launch on April 15.

And HTC is also said to have postponed the volume production date for its Flyer tablets. That device is set to launch in the second quarter of 2011.

Manufacturers have reportedly become wary of releasing devices running Android 3.0 Honeycomb following the launch of the Motorola Xoom, which is said to have had "lower than expected" sales. Problems cited by sources in Taiwan include "brand image, pricing, insufficient applications and the unstable performance of Android 3.0."

In addition, manufacturers are said to be concerned over the shortage of key components following the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan. Apple is said to have taken a proactive approach to the crisis, offering upfront cash payments to suppliers to secure components for devices like the in-demand iPad 2.

Motorola has not announced official sales figures for the Xoom, released in February, but one estimate earlier this month pegged total sales at just 100,000 units. Apple has not yet announced iPad 2 sales figures, but the first-generation iPad reached 1 million sales in less than a month when it debuted in the U.S. in 2010.