Xoom owners who were early adopters of the debut Honeycomb tablet made by Motorola were straddled with the slower Verizon 3G CDMA/EV-DO data connections with the promise that at some point in the near future, Verizon Wireless and Motorola would roll out the hardware and software updates to make the faster 4G LTE data speeds accessible to the Xoom 3G/4G. Time came and went, and we found out more information about the upgrade–that it was free, but required that owners send their tablets to Motorola for a physical hardware upgrade–and in that time, we’ve seen other 4G tablets emerge at a time when the Xoom is still stuck on 3G. Those 4G tablets include the LTE-capable HTC Jetstream for AT&T, though rival AT&T doesn’t have a large 4G LTE footprint so most customers would likely have to resort to 4G HSPA+ technology instead, and the 4G Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Well, tonight, Verizon began sending out an email notifying Xoom owners that the 4G LTE upgrade is now available.
Perhaps as a gesture of goodwill and good faith, Verizon and Motorola are throwing in a free standard dock for those who complete the long-awaited service, available for free for current Xoom owners.
Though more complicated than need be–you do need to ship your tablet to Motorola to get serviced. To complete the upgrade, visit Verizon Wireless for details.
While the Verizon landing page for the upgrade worked, clicking on ‘Upgrade Now’ to be taken to the Motorola site did not; perhaps the site is overloaded or not yet ready to go live. However, when it is available, customers will need to enter their MEID number (found on the box or on the instructions on the website) to validate their tablet; the MEID number is akin to a serial number for wireless devices on Verizon’s network. Customers who are subscribed to a 3G/4G data plan will also need to provide a ten-digit mobile number that’s assigned to their data account. This way, when the tablet comes back to you, your 4G service will be provisioned and up and running.
Are any Xoom owners excited about the upgrade, or is this too little and too late and your attention is now on something bigger and better, and of course, slimmer than the original Xoom?