Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) confirmed that Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) Xoom users will be able to upgrade their tablets to LTE for free sometime in September, a delay of several months from Motorola's initial promises.
Verizon did not give a specific date for when the Xoom upgrades will occur, but reiterated what it has said in the past about the LTE upgrade. Customers will have to ship the device to Motorola to receive the upgrade and will get their tablets back in around six business days. While Verizon has said that no data will be deleted, the carrier urged Xoom users to back up their data before sending the tablet to Motorola.
The carrier first announced that the Xoom would be upgraded to LTE at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and then provided more details in February. The upgrade was supposed to occur sometime in the second quarter. Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha in April said the upgrade's delay was due to software performance issues. Motorola has also delayed the launch of its first LTE smartphone for Verizon, the Droid Bionic.
Interestingly, the Xoom announcement came only hours after Verizon said it will start selling the Samsung GalaxyTab 10.1 with LTE on Thursday. Verizon will sell the Samsung device for $529.99 for the 16 GB model and $629.99 for the 32 GB model, with a two-year contract.
In a separate announcement, Verizon said that it will also begin selling an LTE laptop from Hewlett-Packard on Thursday. The device, the HP Pavilion notebook, has a built-in LTE modem and will sell for $599.99. Verizon's LTE network is now in over 110 markets, en route to 175 by year-end.
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