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Could Dell Inc.'s new tablet computer, the Streak, amount to significant new source of revenue for the computer maker and help it compete with Apple Inc.'s iPad? One analyst who follows both companies has his doubts.

THE OPINION: Shaw Wu, of Kaufman Bros., called the Streak "a step in the right direction" but also raised a series of concerns in a note to clients Wednesday.

Dell's new gadget goes on sale Friday in the U.S. for $550, or $300 with a two-year service plan from AT&T Inc. (The iPad starts at $500, or $630 with a 3G connection.)

The Streak will run on Google's Android software, a factor that could make it tough to stand out with similar gadgets from HTC Corp., Motorola Inc., Samsung Electronics, Lenovo Group and Acer Inc. running on the same operating system, Wu said.

Wu also pointed to sales in the U.K., where the Streak has been available since June. "From our supply chain checks and by Dell's own admission, sales have been modest and immaterial," he said.

Finally, Wu questioned the idea of a 5-inch screen, compared with the iPad's 9.7 inches. Buyers certainly like that they can put smaller gadgets like the iPhone in their pocket. And Apple has sold more than 3 million iPads. The in-between size is still unproven.

THE STOCK: Wu kept a "Hold" rating on Dell shares, which were down 39 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $12.06 in afternoon trading amid a broader market sell-off.

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