In many ways, the iPad fulfills one of late Apple cofounder and CEO Steve Jobs’ long-envisioned dreams of the future of computing. As Jobs said in 1983 in a speech at the International Design Conference in Aspen:
Apple’s strategy is really simple. What we want to do is we want to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes. (…) And we really want to do it with a radio link in it so you don’t have to hook up to anything and you’re in communication with all of these larger databases and other computers.
(See this page for an audio download of the utterly fascinating speech, in which Jobs foreshadows wireless networking, the iPad, the App Store, and how computers would one day become the device many humans interact with the most on a daily basis.)
So how popular are iPads? In the second quarter of 2012, Apple sold more iPads than any computer manufacturer sold PCs, and iPads account for 91% of tablet traffic on the Internet.
And it’s not just the consumer market. According to Cook, 94% of Fortune 500 companies use iPads “in an official capacity.”