Sure, Apple will sell about a gajillion iPads when the device finally releases on April 3rd, but analysts are saying that's not all -- apparently 30% of the revenue from the device itself is expected to be from the sale of content read, listened to, watched, or otherwise consumed on the iPad.
Brian Marshall with Broadpoint.AmTech calls the touch tablet's media strategy "sticky," and says that the App Store is nothing compared to the kind of market for media that the iPad will create. He says that we might even see 7 million iPads sold in the first year, which is a number that's much higher than other estimates. But Marshall also says that when people actually get their hands on the device, they'll be sold -- there's a lot of "naysaying" going around that will be answered, he believes, with a hands-on test.
As I said on the talkcast, I agree -- I think the iPad's real selling point will be how it actually feels and works in your hands, and considering that very, very few people have had that experience so far, it's no wonder there's still so many doubters. I do think that content will be huge on the device, though that's a no-brainer -- even Apple has pointed out that it's basically a device designed to let you sit on your couch and consume media.
At the same time, playing with the iPad won't make it magically grow a camera or lower the price, or fix any of the other objections that people have had. Marshall's guessing big numbers, but then again, that's his job. The rest of us will have to wait and see what the usage (not to mention the actual content deal Apple gets) is actually like.