Verizon Wireless’ 4G upgrade for the Motorola Xoom tablet was supposed to arrive during the second quarter of this year. It will finally be available Thursday, two days before the fourth quarter begins.
The upgrade process from 3G to 4G is inconvenient. Xoom owners must ship their tablets away for six business days, and are encouraged to back up any personal information on the device before shipping.
But buyers knew about the hassle going in. What they didn’t know was that Verizon Wireless and Motorola wouldn’t be good for their word. First, the upgrade date slipped to the late summer, and then September, with neither company saying it was sorry for the wait. And then Motorola and Verizon have the gall to put out a cheery press release that acts as if the delay never happened.
I agree with Computerworld’s JR Raphael, who wrote on Twitter that Xoom owners deserve some free credit, a free accessory, or at the very least, an apology. But I’m not surprised that Xoom owners are getting nothing. This is, as Harry put it, the era of beta hardware. Gadget makers have no qualms about selling unfinished products with vague promises of eventual fixes. If you get fooled into buying a half-baked Android tablet, well, shame on you.
(UPDATE: The Xoom 4G upgrade page says users who upgrade now can get a free dock–a $35 value–“while supplies last.” The offer wasn’t mentioned in the press release or on the upgrade page until it went live on Thursday, but it does take some of the sting out, provided there are enough docks to go around. Thanks to commenter Steve Landsberg for pointing it out.)