The wait for a worthy iPad contender has been tiring. Samsung’s Android 2.2-powered Galaxy Tab couldn’t compete with Apple’s iOS offerings (its successor, on the other hand, is anticipated). Android is finally ready to make the move to tablets, and Honeycomb looks scrumptious. The first Android 3.0-powered tablet out of the gate will be Motorola’s 10.1-inch Xoom, detailed here. Tomorrow, February 24 the Xoom will be made available on Verizon’s 3G network with promise of upgraded 4G LTE capabilities (at no additional charge) later this year (Q2 2011, somewhat more specifically). Here’s the pricing options you’ve got at launch. You can purchase the Xoom for $599.99 if you sign a new two-year contract with VZW; 3G data pricing starts at $20 for 1GB of monthly access. Or if you don’t feel like tying yourself to a carrier you can simply drop two additional Benjamins and rely on Internet access via WiFi hotspots. The pricer Xoom is currently listed on Best Buy, but it’s slapped with an in-store only pickup option. Verizon is also teasing it on its website, and their press release ambiguously says it’ll be available through them as well (online/in-store purchasing is not specified, unfortunately).
Update: We’re past midnight and tomorrow is now today. Verizon’s teaser site has transformed into an order page so there you go. Just to make things clear, Motorola is selling two SKUs: the $600 3G (upgradeable to 4G) model and the $800 non-3G (but still upgradeable to 4G) model. Apparently a cheaper WiFi-only version is in the works, but neither Moto nor Verizon have specified its arrival date.
Oh and there’s this. The Xoom will not ship with Flash support at launch. Crazy, right? At least the wait isn’t that long, and we know it is coming. According to Adobe, the makers of the ubiquitous video standard, “Flash Player 10.2 [will be] pre-installed on some tablets and [arrive] as an OTA download on others within a few weeks of Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) devices becoming available, the first of which is expected to be the Motorola Xoom.” A few weeks time, you can handle it.
Jump after the break to find the aforementioned PR and a super cool Xoom teaser produced by the carrier.
Update: Here’s the full commercial. And underneath that is the slightly altered Spanish version.
Motorola XOOM Tablet to Be Available on the Verizon Wireless Network on Feb. 24
“Best of Show” Winner at 2011 Consumer Electronics Show Delivers the World’s First True Tablet Experience, With Upgrade to 4G LTE in Q2
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. and LIBERTYVILLE, Ill., Feb. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Verizon Wireless and Motorola Mobility, Inc. (NYSE: MMI), today announced the Feb. 24, 2011 availability of the innovative new Motorola XOOM™ tablet, which won the coveted CNET Best of Show award at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show for being “the most potentially disruptive technology.” The first device to run Google’s new Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system, the Motorola XOOM will be available for purchase from Verizon Wireless for $599.99 with a new two-year customer agreement or $799.99 without a contract. Wireless 3G data service for the Motorola XOOM will begin at $20 monthly access for 1GB. The Motorola XOOM will be upgradeable to 4G LTE service at no additional charge in the second quarter of 2011.
A powerhouse in both software and hardware, the Motorola XOOM is built around a 1GHz dual-core processor and 10.1-inch widescreen HD display. The sleek, stylish design features a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video chats, as well as a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera that captures video in 720p HD.
The Motorola XOOM showcases the innovations of the Honeycomb user experience that improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization, as well as featuring the latest Google™ Mobile services. The Motorola XOOM also features full support for tabbed browsing and support for the Adobe® Flash® Player, available soon as a free download, to enjoy all the video and other rich content available on the Web. For additional information about upgrading their XOOM to 4G LTE, customers can visit www.verizonwireless.com/Xoom4GLTEUpgrade starting Thursday, Feb. 24.