Do the Cheaper Galaxy Tab and IdeaPad Threaten iPad’s Prowess?

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad has lower priced tablet competition snapping at its heels in the shape of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus and Lenovo’s IdeaPad A1. These tablets join Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook tablets, already jostling to take market share this holiday season from the iPad, which reportedly sold this last Black Friday at 14.8 units an hour.

These lower priced tablets are coming to market at 30-80% discounts to the iPad’s price, starting at $499.

More, these upstarts-to-the-throne are now adding extra features such as remote-unit functionality, always-on GPS and built-in stands. “Customers will be price sensitive,” Charlie Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Co., said in an interview. “But there has to be functionality along with the low price to make these things sell. From the competitive perspective, all of them are inferior to the iPad. But some of these cheaper tablets will take share from the iPad.” Wolf expects that the Amazon Kindle Fire could corner up to 20% of likely iPad buyers during this quarter.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) also faces another threat from the Phoenix-like rise of Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system that is straddling both smartphones and tablets.

Tablet battles aside, gadgets such as netbooks and black-and-white readers would be the biggest casualties of falling tablet prices.

Here’s how these stocks are performing now:

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): AAPL shares recently traded at $386.63, up $4.43, or 1.16%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $310.50 to $426.70. Volume today was 7,358,930 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 19,321,700 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 13.97, while trailing earnings are $27.68 per share.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN): AMZN shares recently traded at $196.50, up $4.21, or 2.19%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $160.59 to $246.71. Volume today was 4,784,799 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,975,190 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 103.58, while trailing earnings are $1.90 per share.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): GOOG shares recently traded at $611.21, up $11.82, or 1.97%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $473.02 to $642.96. Volume today was 1,933,458 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,113,420 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 20.83, while trailing earnings are $29.34 per share.

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