Moto Finally Xooms on Verizon LTE
12:20 PM -- After months of delays, Verizon Wireless subscribers will be able to upgrade their Motorola Mobility LLC Xoom tablets to Long Term Evolution (LTE) starting Thursday, just making Moto's September deadline. (See Moto Ships 250K Xooms But Waits on LTE and Moto Xoom to Go 4G in September? )
Xoom customers can start the LTE upgrade process, which involves shipping the Xoom back to Verizon, right away, while new customers can purchase the US$500 LTE version beginning on Oct. 13.
The 4G infusion was initially promised for the second quarter, but as was the case with BlackBerry 's Playbook, Moto suffered some setbacks. (See RIM PlayBook: LTE & HSPA+ Versions Coming and RIM Delays 4G PlayBook to the Fall.)
Moto has promised to have at least two more LTE tablets launched before the end of the year. (See Google at the Start of Moto's LTE Race and Moto Mobility Promises 5 LTE Devices for 2011.)
The selection of LTE-enabled tablets in the U.S. is still limited. Verizon also carries the Samsung Corp. Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE (although it's in danger of losing it if Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s injunction is approved), and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) offers the $700 High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) Jetstream. (See AT&T's First LTE Tab Is for Big Spenders and Verizon Intros First LTE Tablet in the US.)
Availability of LTE devices could prove to be the key to convincing a consumer to choose a wireless operator-offered tablet over a Wi-Fi variant. Handset makers will have to get the kinks worked out in future versions, though, or the high-end tablets could lose their appeal in the face of attractive, lower-cost alternatives (uh, have you seen the Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) Kindle Fire? See Amazon Fires Up Low-Cost Tablet Market.)
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile