Jun 3rd, 2011

When I bought the Motorola XOOM a few months ago, I partially bought it with the understanding that 4G would be on the way. It would take an annoying hardware upgrade to complete the process, but nonetheless it would come. Here we are several months later with the competing Galaxy Tab 10.1 about to launch on Verizon with 4G capability and approximately zero XOOM owners have been invited to upgrade their hardware.

What gives? Several sites have reported that Sanjay Jha, at a recent tech conference, all but put the blame on NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 chipset- an issue we would contest. Talking about Motorola’s recent delays, Jha mentioned “betting everything in one place” and suggested in the future they’ll want to work with more chipset manufacturers. Of course the Motorola XOOM runs Tegra 2. Um, yeah, but so does the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

We got in touch with our contact at NVIDIA who emphatically dismissed the attribution of delay, expounding on some really good points we’ve already made:

“Tegra has no compatibility issues with LTE at all. The Tegra-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE tablet runs on Verizon’s LTE network and is a perfect example of Tegra working fine w/ 4G LTE. Tegra 2 interfaces with many types of modems via standard interfaces, including LTE. There is nothing inherently unique about LTE as far as Tegra 2 is concerned.”

Considering the Galaxy Tab is also running Tegra 2 – and running it brilliantly – I find it a little bit suspicious that NVIDIA would ever have been blamed. Maybe Jha meant Verizon. Or maybe – and I think this is most likely – maybe he was clamoring to come up with some type of PR speak that would attribute the blame elsewhere without attributing it to any one entity. Sounds about right.

I assume there are a lot of irritated XOOM owners who have long been expecting the 4G upgrade. And given the fact that the upgrade process is hardware intensive, are any of you nervous how that will go once you’re finally able to get the one-up to the next level? XOOM owners speak now or forever hold your peace!

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