Early adopters craving one of the first iPad devices can now get in line. Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) online store began accepting preorders for the device yesterday.

The iPad won't hit the market until April 3, with the 3G model coming out several weeks later.

The gap between now and Apple's delayed release has become a last call for any potential competitors. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) is hoping to make a dent in this market, emphasizing its specs and its full Flash video support. Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) is unlikely to sit still and let Apple bash the Kindle empire with its jack-of- all-trades gadgetry. 

No matter who wins -- and there may very well be many winners -- a new market is being carved out. This holiday season will belong to the tablets, and they're all jockeying for position under the tree.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • This week marked the 10th anniversary of the peak of the dot-com bubble. We lived it. I've been writing for the Fool since 1995, and I remember the mania and the residue. Check out our six-part series on the tech bubble.
  • Lindsay Lohan really is suing E*TRADE (Nasdaq: ETFC) for having a "milk-a-holic" toddler named Lindsay in one of its E*TRADE Baby ads. The $100 million bounty that she's pursuing seems to have the same kind of wobbly legs as the ad's toddlers.
  • Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) is once again losing market share in search to Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Bing. The silver lining is that Yahoo! still has the silver medal, with Bing closing the gap for second place, but still far away.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple and Amazon.com are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft, which is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.