There are successful products and then there is the iPad. Tablet computing had been around for awhile before Apple decided to elevate the category--and iPad hit consumers like a rocket. According to Sammy the Walrus IV--an Apple watcher and blogger with x-ray vision when it comes to Cupertino coups--the iPad has sold 225 million units and made Apple $30 billion in profit. That's a profit, in just four years, greater than Mark Zuckerberg's entire net worth.
Sammy the Walrus doesn't deliver all good news though. Like a lot of analysts, he sees the tablet space shrinking as phones get bigger. The iPhone may eat its iPad cousin for lunch before the decade's over. Especially since developers will concentrate on the phones going forward, leaving innovative tablet apps on their neglected to-do lists. But if the iPad ever does go the way of the iPod Classic, which was discontinued this year, Apple will always be grateful. What the iPad did for the bottom line, magnificent as it was, still pales in comparison to what it did for Apple's reputation. Tablet computers are referred to the world over as iPads no matter who makes them--it's like Kleenex and tissues. Apple completely owned the category, and the slick touchable device cemented Apple as the coolest company in tech.
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