Research firm IHS iSuppli said owners of the new Motorola (NYSE:MMI) Xoom tablet have to return the device to Motorola Mobility if they want an upgrade to 4G LTE when it's available this summer because all of the components inside the Xoom are 3G components.
Xoom, which is based on the Android Honeycomb OS, was revealed as one of Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) LTE devices during the Consumer Electronics Show in January. But it is marketed to consumers as a device that is upgradeable to LTE for free. Customers will have to ship the tablet to Motorola in a prepaid FedEx envelope, and the upgrade is expected to take six business days from the time customers ship the tablet to be complete.
"The IHS iSuppli tear down reveals why Xoom owners must surrender their product back to the factory for a physical upgrade to 4G networking," the firm said. "There were no 4G components found in the Xoom tablet aside from a dummy miniPCIe card -- an obvious placeholder for the future LTE upgrade. However, Motorola did provide two MIMO antennas and a SIM card slot in preparation for the LTE upgrade."
Motorola has indicated that the LTE upgrade should become available within three months.
Meanwhile, Verizon said its data pricing for the LTE version of the Xoom tablet will be the same as its EV-DO version of the device. However, it's unclear whether this means that all future Verizon LTE tablets will have the same data pricing as the carrier's EV-DO tablets. Verizon has said EV-DO data pricing for the Xoom falls under its previously established tablet pricing plans: 1 GB of data for $20 per month; 3 GB for $35; 5 GB for $50 and 10 GB for $80.
The nation's largest carrier is selling the Xoom for $600 when paired with a two-year contract and $800 without a contract.
- see this Light Reading Mobile article
- read this FierceWireless article
- see this MobileBurn post
- take a look at this Verizon FAQ page
- read this Verizon page
Verizon offers $200 subsidy for Motorola Xoom
Motorola's Jha: LTE justifies Xoom tablet's $800 price tag
Motorola unveils Xoom, Android 'Honeycomb' tablet
Qualcomm unveils quad-core Snapdragon chipset for tablets
RIM teases LTE, HSPA+ versions of the PlayBook