January 9, 2011
As day two dawned here on CES, I was excited to get up to the Verizon booth to check out the tablet that was unveiled yesterday called the Xoom. Obviously the technical specs on it are impressive. It is on Motorola Hardware with a front and rear facing camera. It sports Google’s newest Android OS called Honeycomb, built to be run on a tablet. With the cameras, you now have video conferencing via Google Talk in addition to the rest of the suite of Google apps available on Android.
So, while the specs were really impressive, the implementation is what I was most disappointed about. This year here at CES, the big buzz word is 4G. All of the mobile providers have been touting their new next-gen networks and the hardware that will ride on them. Verizon itself unveiled the HTC Thunderbolt yesterday as well as it’s first handset to take advantage of the new LTE network. According to the rep at the booth, this phone will be to market in the March timeframe. However, even though the signage all around the Xoom booth noted LTE 4g, I was told that the hardware will first be sold as a 3G tablet.
Then at some undetermined time after that, 4G will be made available as a “hardware upgrade”. I asked exactly what that meant and could not get a full answer. From pricing to simple logistics (e.g.,how will the customer get this hardware upgrade done) there were no answers.
So, while Verizon took a great step in bringing this hardware to market with some impressive technical specs, they seemed to have made a huge implementation faux pas by releasing as 3G and then forcing the customer to get the tablet to Verizon in some fashion for a hardware upgrade.
What do you think? Is this a good move or a bad one by Verizon? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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