It appears, unusually, that Apple may have got their market research wrong which has led them to release the iPad before it is really ready.
Don't get me wrong. I think the iPad is probably the most beautiful piece of electronic equipment ever created in looks, the way it is seamless in it's functionality and in it's " holdability".
However, Steve Jobs has said that they were creating a new category of computer somewhere between a smart phone and a laptop and that netbooks just didn't do that properly.
Where do Apple think the Market is for this is? I have a smartphone (iPhone in fact) and a laptop already as do a lot of people. In fact most of us will still be tied into a mobile contract to pay for the iPhone. Apart from the big beautiful screen there is nothing that I can do on the iPad that I can't do between my iPhone and my laptop. Worse the iPad can't take over the joint functionality of both together.
And there's the rub. I don't think people wan't another category of computer. Certainly in my case I was hoping for something that would completely replace my iPhone and my laptop and perhaps, with the addition of a docking station, the desktop too.
The problem is that the iPad doesn't do that yet. Not even close.
To be more specific here are the things that would be needed before I think it could replace the smartphone and the laptop.
3G (coming in later models).
Proper access to the file system.
Front mounted camera.
More solid-state disk space.
Certainly, Apple will sell a lot of them to apple fans and to people that don't have an iPhone yet. Especially considering the low price. But it won't replace the laptop. Not yet.
That said. The iPad is definitely going to change the way that we all look at computers and the way we interact with them.
If Apple can deliver all of the above in the next year. The competition will be worried!