It was known since previous UDS that there will be OMAP4 based PandaBoard available for developers. And some time ago pandaboard.org was started (for now with temporary website). Boards are still not available at distributors but there are some of them in different projects (like Ubuntu/ARM), some are on a way to new users (mine for example).
When final price was announced many people said that PandaBoard is BeagleBoard XM killer due to same (179USD) price. But is it? Let have a look.
First group of users for such boards are software developers. If they do not work for hardware companies then usually want to get more power for same price. So they will choose PandaBoard.
Second group would be companies which want to produce own hardware based on OMAP3/4. Here it depends on how soon OMAP4 chips will be available in small orders. As OMAP3 can be bought now and BBXM is available to buy many will choose it as this allow to get own hardware ready to market in less then year with having working platform for own developers so final device will start with ready software. One of such is BUG 2.0 which I used at prototype phase. It was designed after using BeagleBoards with BUGBoard extension as base for hardware development.
And Beagleboard XM is available to buy today — with fast CPU, 512MB ram, Ethernet, few USB ports it is big update to previous versions. I never used it — BB C3 is still my primary ARM development system. But in 2-3 weeks situation will change and BB will meet another C3 and one B7 versions in a box due to arrival of PandaBoard.