Who can compete with iPad on price?

February 7, 2011, 1:27 PM UTC

A leaked ad has the Motorola Xoom selling for $300 more than the entry level iPad

Source: Motorola

Not only does Apple’s (AAPL) iPad have what Steve Jobs and Tim Cook like to call a first mover advantage, but it seems to have a big edge over its competitors on sticker price as well.

Engadget has posted what appears to be an ad for the Motorola (MOT) Xoom, the first iPad competitor running Google’s (GOOG) tablet-ready Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system. The device, promoted in a 1984-themed Superbowl ad (see below) and expected to go on sale Feb. 24, has several technical advantages over the current iPad, including two cameras, higher-res display and support for Adobe (ADBE) Flash (see specs here).

But if that Engadget screen grab is to be believed, the Xoom starts at $799.99, a full 60% more than the entry-level iPad ($499). And who knows what will happen to Apple’s pricing and specs when the iPad 2 arrives?

Apple’s edge could get even sharper when those Asian touchscreen factories it has reportedly invested in come on line.

“To think,” writes Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber, “that there are still tech pundits who’ll tell you that Apple’s the company that can’t compete on price.”

Below: The Xoom’s Superbowl ad, with echoes of Apple’s 1984 Macintosh ad.


Also on Fortune.com:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]