UK customers can apparently now buy the Motorola Xoom, with a website called Simply Electronics offering the Android 3.0 tablet for £489.95. But it seems rather dubious whether customers will actually get hold of their Xoom any earlier than those who wait and buy them from other shops.

Yesterday ITProPortal discovered that the website was offering the Motorola Xoom earlier than expected, and found that 17 units of the tablet were apparently still available at the sub-£490 price. By this afternoon that figure had dropped to just one unit.

PC Advisor spoke to a Simply Electronics salesman today (after six minutes on hold, which suggests that this coup is securing the website plenty of publicity and customer interest) and asked if this Xoom unit was still available to buy. Indeed it was, surprisingly, but we were warned, quite unprompted, that the statement "Usually ships in 1-2 business days" was not guaranteed to be true.

"Two to seven working days is guaranteed, though," the sales representative said, when we insisted that we needed to have our Motorola Xoom by the weekend. "We can guarantee to have it with you by the 15th [of April]."

When we asked what would happen in consequence of the guarantee being broken, we were told that the company would apologise.

With larger retailers such as PC World stating that they will have Xooms in store by Saturday, Simply Electronics doesn't really seem to be offering the Xoom any earlier than the rest of the industry.

The Motorola Xoom tablet PC is the first device to run Google's Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb) operating system. As such, it is the very first tablet PC designed by Google for running the search-giant's Android OS, and therefore promises to be the first serious competition for the Apple iPad.

Macworld has launched a sister title, TabletWorld, which has reviews and tutorials on all the upcoming tablets and the iPad 2. Click here to download and read a digital copy on your tablet or you can pick up a print title in WH Smith travel, Sainsbury and Tesco supermarkets.