“Motorola mobility chief Sanjay Jha confirmed that the company’s new Xoom tablet will go on sale in the U.S. at $800, a higher price tag than current market leader Apple’s iPad,” Ben Rooney reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Mr. Jha, speaking to reporters at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, said a device that was 4G compatible on U.S. carrier Verizon’s network was worth the extra money. A 32GB iPad with 3G currently retails in the U.S. for $729,” Rooney reports. “‘We felt that our ability to deliver 50Mb/s would justify the $799 price point. It is 32GB with 3G and a free upgrade to 4G. Being competitive with iPad is important. We feel that from the hardware and capabilities we deliver we are at least competitive and in a number of ways better [than the iPad].'”

MacDailyNews Take: Jha apparently doesn’t understand the value of a coherent ecosystem or thinks his potential customers don’t. In either case, he’s wrong.

Rooney continues, “He did admit that Samsung’s experience with the Galaxy Tab had shown that the sell-through and the return rate on tablets launched so far have been ‘concerning.’ Nevertheless the company was going to launch a product more expensive than the market leader. He promised a Wi-Fi-only version would also go on sale. He would not be drawn on the exact price, but said it would be ‘meaningfully cheaper. The price is set by iPad at $599 and we will be right around there.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Dude’s got nothin’. Plus, he’ll be trying to compete against what Apple unveiled over a year and 15+ million units ago. Oh, to be there as he watches Apple’s iPad 2 unveiling!

Rooney continues, “In a wide-ranging, and at times admirably frank, interview, Mr. Jha also spoke of his concerns about how the Microsoft-Nokia deal would make it harder for existing players in that area. He hinted at his frustration at having to tie his company so closely to someone else’s product, Google’s Android operating system… Almost ruefully he said he wished Motorola was able to control its own operating system, but he lacked the scale to build his own ecosystem.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The only place Xoom is going to zoom is straight into Costco clearance bins.