Motorola Xoom 260x195 Motorola chief defends XOOM pricing, says 4G capabilities justify its costRumours suggesting that Motorola’s XOOM tablet would initially go on sale in the U.S with an $800 price tag have been confirmed by the company’s mobility chief Sanjay Jha, who says that the tablets’ ability to deliver 4G speeds justifies a higher price that its iPad rival.

The WSJ reports Jha also said that although the XOOM would not ship with 4G functionality, it would receive a free upgrade to support next generation networks:

“We felt that our ability to deliver 50Mb/s would justify the $799 price point. It is 32GB with 3G and a free upgrade to 4G. Being competitive with iPad is important. We feel that from the hardware and capabilities we deliver we are at least competitive and in a number of ways better [than the iPad].”

When asked about the company’s plans for its Wi-Fi only XOOM, Jha would not confirm pricing but did mention that it would be “meaningfully cheaper. The price is set by iPad at $599 and we will be right around there.”

The Motorola chief also seemed to confirm Google’s plans to release a music service whilst clarifying the ecosystem the company will support, noting that the ecoystem would include apps, developers and services. By services, he specifically mentioned Google’s mobile services which included “music services, video services” before correcting himself to say “There will be music service, there will be video service.”

Motorola has enjoyed success in North America, particularly with its Droid range of Android range of smartphones. Jha mentions that the Motorola brand is weakest in Europe and that it requires more work and investment to reposition itself to the European market. Considering that the last product Europeans saw was the Razr, Motorola has a big job ahead of it to attract new customers.