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Is The Apple iPad Already Passe?

|Includes: Apple Inc. (AAPL), GOOG, HPQ, MRVL, MSFT
The Apple iPad - scheduled to be released on April 3rd - might already be yesterday's news.  The 9.7 inch screen iPad will carry a hefty $ 500 price tag and does not support Adobe Flash, software that enriches the multimedia experience.

Marvel (NASDAQ:MRVL) is expected to release a competitor at a much lower price point -- a startling $100 -- with a bigger 10.1 inch screen that supports Adobe Flash.  The product is tentatively called the "iWonder."  It operates on Google's Android open source system.  It could be a game changer.

The iWonder has a color display and is WiFi compatible, enabling the user to surf the net for web based applications and email.   As the device uses Android, it is likely that it will interact nicely with Google's online offerings (e.g., Gmail, YouTube, etc.).

Its use of an open source system will further make it difficult for HP and Microsoft's coming  "Slate" tablet to compete.  The Slate uses the more expensive Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, which will likely result in a higher price.

Keep an eye on this tablet race.  And expect prices to fall quickly. 

Disclosure: Long AAPL, Long GOOG