We don’t know when it’s going to be available for purchase, but it looks like this is going to be the first credible rival to the iPad.
It also looks like it’s going to be DOA if Verizon is selling it.
In my opinion, the biggest limit on competition, innovation, and low prices in the cell phone market comes from the control that carriers have over devices and device manufacturers, which results not only in unnecessary restrictions on devices, but also barriers to effective competition among carriers for price and quality of service. Now, it looks increasingly like we’re going to see the same problems in the tablet market. Apple’s $500 iPad sells like hotcakes without a subsidy; the Amazon Kindle (although not a tablet) has fallen to $139 with WiFi only. The cell phone model may be tempting in the short run for many tablet manufacturers, to try to gain an early market share edge over competitors – but it will cost them in the long run, and only Verizon and AT&T will win.