I predict Apple's iPad will be a big success... by the second or third generation. I think this initial version will perform moderately, but won't knock it out of the park -- since Apple's been knocking everything out of the park lately, this in of itself, may seem like a failure, but that's another post all together.
So, why don't I think it'll make it big right now? It's a big idea. The iPad is not a computer or a smartphone. What do I even need it for? It'll take people time to figure out how the iPad can best be used. But, I don't think it'll flop either because, let's be honest, it's pretty darn slick. I don't know how I'll use it, but I'd love to have one.
The iPad is a true revolution in computing. It's a new kind of device that will be easy to use, truly intuitive, beautiful, and relatively cheap. I foresee a huge market for them in tech novices, people who want to be able to use email, and surf the web, but don't need the computing power of a full machine. Macworld has an awesome article pushing this idea even further called "The iPad isn't a a third device, but a third revolution." The iPad runs on the iPhone OS and uses iPhone/iPad apps instead of normal computer programs, and, although this will bother power users, many mainstream users will find they don't need anything else. Furthermore, it's got a pretty appealing price point, that starts at just $499.
The iPad needs more features and time to truly become mainstream. Where's multi-tasking, a camera, and a usb port? I predict they'll be included in the next generation. Also, it will take time for people to realize the true value of the device. Just think about the iPod -- it wasn't immediately popular but now it's a cultural icon.
So what do you think? Let me know if you agree, and especially let me know if you disagree.