Owners of the “4G” Motorola XOOM received some good news in their email inboxes today: Verizon’s promised 4G LTE upgrade for the XOOM is finally coming. In September. The upgrade will be free, of course, and will bump increase the XOOM’s wireless browsing speeds by up to 10x.
The XOOM’s LTE upgrade will come about four months late. Motorola and Verizon originally announced that the 4G upgrade would take place in May, 90 days after the XOOM was launched on Verizon. Yet May passed, and until today neither Verizon nor Motorola have provided XOOM owners with any firm timeframe for the 4G upgrade.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Verizon will be providing any compensation for XOOM owners who have been waiting for 4G since may. I’d imagine the company could do its customers right by offering a few free months of service. What’s particularly frustrating is the 4G LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be released in two days, making the Galaxy Tab 10.1, not the XOOM, Verizon’s first 4G LTE tablet.
Motorola released the XOOM Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet back in February, promising owners than an LTE upgrade for the device will be provided at no additional charge within 90 days. However, Motorola later announced that LTE upgrades for the XOOM would be delayed until the Summer, and since then the company has provided XOOM owners with little information about the status of the device’s LTE upgrade.
But it now looks like the XOOM LTE upgrade will be coming soon, according to an FCC application by Motorola that was approved today. The application is for an LTE module known by the FCC ID IHDP56LU2, which will bring LTE capabilities to the XOOM.
FCC documents indicate that the XOOM’s LTE module will be professionally installed, and is not intended for use in any other device, below. Images of the LTE card show a mini PCI form factor, which can be seen in the gallery below. Motorola’s FCC application also includes some images of an LTE XOOM in testing, as well as an updated user manual.
There’s still now word when XOOM upgrades will be available for owners. There are some reports that XOOM owners have received reminders and/or packaging materials for the LTE upgrade, but neither Verizon nor Motorola has officially announced a timeframe for the upgrade. Still, XOOM owners will be glad to see that the XOOM’s LTE modem has received an FCC approval, a good sign that the LTE upgrade process will begin very soon.
Earlier this week a Motorola representative on the Motorola Support Forums announced that rooted XOOMs will not be eligible for Motorola’s promised free upgrade to LTE. However today, Matt, the Forums Manager of the Motorola Forums, clarified Motorola’s stance on rooting.
According to Matt, Motorola will upgrade XOOMs that have been rooted, provided that the XOOMs have been restored to their original factory software. Motorola will also attempt to upgrade rooted XOOMs that are submitted for an upgrade, but the company “may be unable to update the software” on rooted XOOMs in some cases. For these customers, Motorola will not update the software, but will install the hardware LTE modem.
It seems like the best option for XOOM rooters is to restore the XOOM to its original factory software before the device is sent in to Motorola. The company does not sound confident in its ability to upgrade rooted XOOMs, which is not surprising given the multitude of ROMs that will likely be available for the device.
Still no word as to when LTE upgrades for the XOOM will be available.
Source: Motorola Forums
By now you probably know that the Motorola XOOM will be eligible for a factory-installed update in about three months. The process will require users to send their XOOMs to Motorola, and will take about six days.
But today a Motorola rep on the company’s support pages announced that rooted XOOMs will not be eligible for the 4G LTE upgrade. In other words, the device must be running stock software, otherwise it will be returned to you with no 4G. It does seem like a rooted XOOM could be downgraded to factory software in order to be upgraded to 4G LTE, and then simply re-rooted later, however.