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Xoom teardown shows part shared with iPhone, easy 4G upgrade

updated 09:20 am EST, Fri February 25, 2011

Motorola Xoom torn down by iFixit

Motorola's just-launched Xoom has received a customary teardown that has revealed an unintentional link to the iPhone and just how simple the 4G upgrade process wil be. iFixit found that the Android 3.0 tablet, despite being EVDO-only right now, has the same Qualcomm MDM6600 modem as the Verizon iPhone. The method suggests the Verizon Xoom is the same model as the one shipping worldwide and that other countries will get 14.4Mbps HSPA+ 3G instead.

The deconstruction has also shown that the design is explicitly tailored to adding in the LTE modem needed for 4G. The back has a dual-panel design designed to slide open easily at the top. Technicians would likely only need to replace a mini-PCI dummy module with the necessary hardware and insert a new SIM. It's now suspected that much of the up to six-day absence of the Xoom during the 4G upgrade process would be shipping time, as the actual upgrade could be performed within minutes.

Accessibility on the design was much easier on the whole. While the construction was "inconvenient" through the number of screws needed, it didn't have to be pried open like the iPad despite being competitive in the thickness and weight that Apple has used to help justify its sealed-in cases. Neither Apple nor Motorola fuses the LCD to the glass so far, but Motorola relies on fewer rare or proprietary tools. Many of the Xoom's components are modular and can be replaced individually without having to replace something else at the same time.

The Xoom's battery, despite claims of matching Apple's 10 hours of Internet use, is slightly lower capacity at 24.1 watt hours versus the iPad's 24.8. Some tests have noted much shorter video playback times on Motorola's hardware than Apple's, although they also saw the Xoom getting long battery life elsewhere.

Apple is expected to partly address any advantages the Xoom might have in its upcoming March 2 event. The new iPad is expected to be thinner and overall lighter than its predecessor. Traditionally, Apple has also found a way to increase the battery life of a mobile device as it discovers optimization tricks over time.

by MacNN Staff



  1. facebook_Matt

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011


    Battery mistake...

    iFixit posted the battery on the Xoom as a 3250 mah.

    The battery on the iPad is a ~6614 mah.

    The Xoom's battery is about half of the iPad's.

  1. dearbho

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Engineering matters...

    Wow. Look at all the empty space on the circuit board. They could have shrunk the board and have had more room for more battery. No wonder the iPad has better battery life.

    Apple is awesome at design, not only asthetics, but also the engineering of the internals. Time obviously helps, but here's a great example how attention to details (like shrinking of the internals) allows for better user experience (better battery life).

    Those details are lost on most people, but the definitely matter.

  1. Michael R. Rose

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Engineering does matter... but so does an understa

    Yes, engineering certainly does matter. However, the board you are looking at, like most consumer electronics, is a multilayer board. The picture you are most likely referring to is the backside of the board, and it does indeed show a lot of "empty" space. But if you look in the other images you can clearly see all the components located on the opposite side of the board.

  1. ConstructiiCase

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Engineering rules

    That is just a piece of art, everything on its place, I like it

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