Motorola Shoots Self in Foot, Awards Itself Sharpshooter Medal

I’ve been intrigued by Motorola’s Xoom tablet, as the first Android 3 device — and the first real iPad competitor. But wait, there’s less:

The Best Buy ad for the Xoom pegs February 24 as the launch date, Engadget reports, with the $799.99 price tag mirroring chatter late last month sparked by the “minimum advertising price” listed on some leaked Verizon Wireless documents.

If the purported $800 price tag has you seeing red, consider this: a note just below the Xoom image that says a one-month Verizon Wireless data plan is “required” to activate Wi-Fi on the tablet.

That’s right: No wifi on your $800 tablet without first paying for a $20-$80 cellular service. Don’t know yet if your wifi keeps working after your data plan runs out, or if you must keep renewing.

The howl is only just beginning, and don’t be shocked if wiser heads prevail at Moto and ditch this craptacular idea.

UPDATE: Gruber wonders if maybe Best Buy copywriters typo’d “WiFi” when it was supposed to read “wireless.” That makes a lot more sense than charging Xoom buyers an extra fee just to use their home networks for the first month.

Because a tablet that doesn’t have immediate internet connectivity isn’t a tablet, it’s a shiny brick. Personally, I’m glad I spent the extra cash (and extra $30 a month) for 3G service on my iPad. Because your internet connection shouldn’t just be immediate, for best results it should also be ubiquitous.