iSuppli: Why Xoom Has to Go Back for 4G

IHS iSuppli reveals why new owners of the Motorola Mobility LLC Xoom tablet will have to return the device to the manufacturer if they want a 4G upgrade when it's available this summer.

IHS iSuppli says that there are no Long Term Evolution (LTE) components inside the 3G Android "Honeycomb" tablet. The research firm had this to say in a note issued today:

The Motorola XOOM is marketed to consumers as a device that is upgradable to 4G free of charge. The IHS iSuppli teardown reveals why XOOM owners must surrender their product back to the factory for a physical upgrade to 4G networking. 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 said that the LTE upgrade should be available 90 days after Thursday's launch. (See Tablet Wars: iPad 2 vs Android 3.0 and Tablet Wars: Who's Xooming Whom?)

The 10.1-inch display of the Xoom is reminiscent of the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad. IHS iSuppli, however, lists a number of differences on the new machine:

  • The Xoom has an Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) dual-core Tegra 2 apps processor for faster running of software and processes.
  • With 1GB synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM) onboard, the Xoom has "nearly four times as much SDRAM for code storage than Apple's A4 microprocessor employed, further boosting performance."
  • The Xoom features both a 2-megapixel front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel primary camera.
  • The Motorola device has a multitude of sensors, including an electronic compass, a 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyroscope and a pressure monitor.

IHS iSuppli promises it will unveil how much it costs to make the Xoom next week.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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