Motorola has just confirmed to PC Advisor that it will start selling the 10.1in Xoom Android Honeycomb-based tablet in the UK from next week. Motorola is the launch partner for the Google Android Honeycomb platform, the first version of the Google Android operating system written specifically for tablet devices.

Motorola started selling the Xoom tablet in the US on 24 February and rumours of its immiment UK launch have circled ever since. At Mobile World Congress in mid-February, Motorola was demonstrating finished samples of the Xoom tablet, with some executives using what they claimed were their own Xoom tablets. Along with the RIM BlackBerry Playbook, which is available for preorder in the US and Canada with shipping promised for 19 April, the Xoom looks like being both one of the first and one of the strongest tablets to launch that could seriously challenge the might of the Apple iPad 2.

The Motorola Xoom will cost £499 for the Wi-Fi edition in the UK and will be sold through Dixons Store Group retails chain Dixons, PC World and Currys. It has also been listed SIM-free for for sale on a range of UK-based online retailers such as Clove and King Of Gadgets.

Several other Google Android Honeycomb devices from well-known manufacturers are set to launch in the coming weeks. The HTC Flyer is being listed at Expansys as onsale in the UK from 5 May, while last week Samsung announced that its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet would launch as a Honeycomb device, rather than the Android Froyo 2.2 version that was shown at MWC.