You know what? It looks like there are people out there who really want iPads. Just 80 days after launching the 10 inch tablet running a slightly modified version of the iPhone operating system with a faster ARM-based processor, Apple has announced that 3-million iPads have been sold.
It’s no real surprise that sales are picking up despite the fact that there’s been ample time for everyone in America who wants an iPad to pick one up — because the tablet only recently went on sale overseas. Still, it looks like demand for the tablet remains pretty high.
Does this mean that the iPad and/or touch-friendly tablets with simplified user interfaces are here to stay? It’s really too early to tell. As Lee Mathews points out, the fact that a large number of people are buying something doesn’t mean it’s not a fad. In fact, that’s the very definition of a fad — the question is whether they’ll continue buying them for years to come or whether the iPad will be hot for a limited period of time before fading into oblivion. And we just don’t know the answer to that question yet.
As things stand, there are few things that the iPad can do that you can’t do with an iPhone — especially with a new iPhone shipping this week that will have the same processor and a similar screen resolution to the iPad. But a number of activities including surfing the web or watching videos are generally a lot more pleasant on a 10 inch display than a 3 to 4 inch screen. So I’m not entirely surprised to see people rushing out to buy devices that are essentially oversized smartphones.