In the same amount of time it took Jules Verne's Phineas Fogg to circumnavigate the globe, Apple happily put THREE MEELLION iPads into delighted consumer's hands: eighty days. Eight-zero. Week 'n' a half shy of three months. That comes to 37,500 iPads sold PER DAY.
Three…million… Holy game-changer, Batman.
Oh, and here's Uncle Steve, press release in hand, come to gloat a little (although in light of the iPhone 4 pre-sale catastrophe, he's sort of entitled):
"People are loving iPad as it becomes a part of their daily lives. We're working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more people around the world, including those in nine more countries next month."
(Oh, yeah, 11,000 iPad apps in the App Store, which is now 225,000 apps strong in general. Followed by the usual mumbo-jumbo about the Apple II jump-starting the PC revolution, followed by the Mac, OS X, iPods, et cetera, yadda yadda yadda.)
Still, that's three million people who were convinced they needed a tablet computer, thus creating a market for one where it hadn't really existed before. And yeah, the iPad wasn't the first tablet (just like the iPod wasn't the first MP3 player), but it was the one that made people say, a la Tony Stark, "I want one" — whether or not there was a Pepper Potts standing nearby to curtly retort "No."