For anybody who is planning to buy a Xoom tomorrow, we finally have an idea on how the upgrade to 4G LTE compatibility will work. Instead of just being a simple software update, you'll have to send your device to Motorola, which, while free, will take "up to 6 business days." The process will be available approximately 90 days after the Xoom is released, and will remain available for six months. Be warned, however - this may result in some unpleasant circumstances, as users are warned to backup their device before shipping it. The details should be available officially tomorrow, and will be found on Verizon's soon to go live Xoom 4G LTE upgrade page.
Turns out yesterday's update to the Android 3.0 SDK introduced more than just finalized APIs - the folks over at Android Central have discovered seven completely new wallpapers as well as two higher-res versions of existing ones in the final SDK's Launcher2.apk.
At 1920x1280, the images are just the right size for showing off your Honeycomb love on any of your devices. If they catch your eye, be sure to grab them for yourself using the download link below.
That's right - unlike almost all other Motorola devices in recent memory, the XOOM will ship with an unlocked (or at least "unlockable/relockable") bootloader. That means modders will be free to create custom ROMs and kernels for the tablet - not as surprising as it would be were the XOOM not a flagship Google device, but still very reassuring.
Now, Motorola, about your other devices' bootloaders...
Source: Motorola (Twitter)
OK, so unboxings aren't exactly the most exciting videos on the web, but when they involve a certain tablet called the "Motorola XOOM," they're definitely worth a look. Such is Wirefly's latest creation:
Items of note:
- Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) - boot times seem really fast
- 10.1-inch 16:10 display - larger than an iPad
- 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor
- 32GB of internal storage
- 2MP front camera
- 5MP rear camera capable of recording 720p HD video
Interestingly, the video mentions a slot for a 4G SIM card, which is odd since Verizon and Motorola say the XOOM will require a
hardware software upgrade to connect to LTE.
Verizon's latest press release confirms rumors that the Motorola XOOM will cost $599 with a 2-year contract and $799 without (though we already knew the latter price thanks to Verizon's website) when it launches this Thursday.
Data contracts will start at $20/month for 1GB of data, with Verizon confirming once again that the XOOM will be upgradeable to 4G LTE in Q2 of 2011 at no extra charge.
Read more about it in the official press release:
Verizon just updated its product page for the Motorola XOOM, and in the process, the tablet's release date has been made official. Just as expected, you'll be able to buy the Honeycomb-loaded beast this Thursday (2/24), but unfortunately, Adobe's Flash Player won't be included out of the box. Instead, the page's fine print says, the software is "expected in Spring 2011."
Engadget speculates that Verizon / Motorola are waiting for Flash 10.2, which is supposed to launch in the coming weeks, and I would say that's a pretty fair assumption. Still, it's kind of disappointing that the XOOM won't have Flash at launch since even the Galaxy Tab can play back Flash content.
Wirefly just opened pre-orders for the highly anticipated Motorola XOOM, the world's first Honeycomb tablet, and like Best Buy, they'll be selling the device for $799.99 on a mandatory one-month contract that will cost a minimum of $20 (oh, and what's up with the "Switch My Existing Wireless Number to my new MOTOROLA XOOM" option?).
In related news, Wirefly lists a February 24th shipping date, though they note that this is "subject to change." Additionally, if you pre-order an unreleased phone along with your XOOM, your whole order will be held until both items are ready to ship (as opposed to something like Amazon's model, where your orders are shipped separately).
Sure, you've already spent hours salivating over the Motorola XOOM, checked out some apps built for Android 3.0, and even played with the Honeycomb emulator, but obviously, the one thing you've really been longing for is the XOOM's user guide.
Thanks to Droid Life, you can now sift through that clumsy collection of instructions you never would have read otherwise. Nonetheless, go ahead and download the guide if you so desire; we didn't discover anything previously unknown during our preliminary reading, but who knows - something new and exciting could be contained within!
Source: Droid Life
Told you so - the price of the XOOM will indeed be significantly less than $1,200 (at least according to Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha). In fact, if you decide to take the WiFi-only route, the tablet will cost just $600 - half of the price Best Buy put up (and subsequently took down). 3G connectivity will come with a $199 premium (jacking the price up to $799), though it's worth noting that the XOOM's radio will see an LTE upgrade sometime down the road.
Of course, there's probably one question on your mind: "How does this look next to Apple's pricing?" Well the cost of the WiFi-only model actually compares favorably - a 32 GB WiFi iPad costs $599, so the two tablets will be neck-to-neck.
Less than a week after the Best Buy ad for the XOOM was leaked, the official pre-order page has launched. Stunningly, the price quoted on the website is $1,199.99, significantly higher than the price quoted on the original ad which was $799.
Best Buy pre-order page
If true, the price is an exorbitant markup over the retail price shown in two separate tips we've received of the product listing in the Best Buy systems: both show the XOOM as costing Best Buy $550, with the employee price being just $577.50. Even at the originally leaked price of $800 retail, that's a markup of roughly 45%.