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Motorola Xoom Will Have To Be Sent In To Upgrade To 4G #MWC11

At an event this evening in Barcelona we received a tip from an anonymous source with Verizon that confirmed something we heard earlier in the day on the show floor. Adding to the mysterious price rumors for the highly anticipated Motorla Xoom, we’ve found out something that may be disturbing to true business professionals that are planning on purchasing the Motorola Xoom.

When the Xoom was announced at the Motorola press conference at CES we were told that it was upgradeable to Verizon’s 4G LTE network but would roll out on 3G. Which still stands. At that time no one was really sure how this upgrade would take place. We thought with one of the little compartments on the side of the XOOM it would simply be a matter of walking into your local Verizon corporate store and switching out a chip.

That’s not the case.  When we were playing with the Xoom today we asked about upgrading to 4G LTE on Verizon and we were told you would have to “Send it in” and have the upgrade.  We wanted confirmation from Verizon and got that this evening from a reliable source that yes you will have to send your Xoom in for the upgrade. It’s not a swap out or anything like that but you will have to send it in for service to get the upgrade to 4G/LTE.

Why is this such a big deal? Because Motorola and Verizon are planning on selling lots of Xoom tablets to business professionals and this creates a couple of problems.

First, data security, I’m sure you could erase all your data and factory reset your Xoom before you send it in but who wants to be bothered by the inconvenience of that. Also if you don’t factory reset your device or back it up then your latest plans, passwords, emails etc can go back to the hands of the Verizon Wireless service centers. Although they have great trained employees do high level executives want that risk?

Second is downtime, even if you overnight the Xoom at Verizon’s expense and they overnight it back that’s 3 days no matter how you slice it that you will be without your Xoom.

Tablets have become a lifeline for some even more important than smartphones.  Does this change your mind at all or are you ok with sending it in?

UPDATE: Somehow we missed it when Droidlife reported it at CES. But as more worldwide carriers have been announced we hope that something changes in this procedure.q

5 Comments

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  1. I guess they want me to feel impressed that it’s upgradeable. All those years of upgrading components in my PC have made me feel that upgrade-ability is very important in any device.

    On one hand, tablets are meant to be small and compact (and replace the unit as whole when it fails, not a “green” product by any measure) and so its difficult to service, if not impossible. On the other hand, why not have a similar design to laptops, where you simply remove a panel and have access to the replaceable components? If it takes being sent off to a repair shop to have its chips upgraded, we can assume that it involves taking the thing apart entirely. That has to be a ton in labor, so this upgrade is NOT going to be free, and will likely cost upwards of $100 and take 2 weeks or more. For that trouble, you might as well replace the whole board with V2.0.

    I find it sad that devices are made like they are. It makes more engineering sense to have a swappable chip behind a panel that would accept the various radios of different mobile networks. This means you build one model and simply swap the chip when you want to switch networks. Would be great for putting in that future 5G chip into your expensive device. How’s that for future-proofed?

  2. Yes. I makes me like it less. But not enough to make me wait for something better, or not enough to make it not get it. Yes, it’s a minus. But it’s still awesome, dude. xoom, feb 24, $800.00 yes, that me!

  3. Wow! That is a big minus in my book! It also brings up other questions. How long will it actually take? How much will they charge for the upgrade. The way that Motorola announced it it came across as an easy “free” upgrade of the hardware… now I’m not so sure.

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