At this point, it seems anything Apple does becomes insanely profitable (well, except for making the Mac a major gaming platform), even if there doesn't seem to be a huge market for it.
The iPad, to me, is just a really broken laptop. It lacks the core functionality, but has a really cool interface and the name Apple behind it. If an identical device was launched by, say, Delland functioned identically, I firmly believe it'd bombed commercially and been a non-entity in the popular conscience. I can appreciate people have long dreamed of a functional tablet, but now that it is here, I don't see why I'd want to sacrifice the more effective functionality of a laptop or netbook.
I suppose I am not getting the appeal of Apple. I will say that the iPod was a really solid piece of equipment, but the iPhone still hasn't blown my mind (the Android OS seems more functional overall with more potential for growth) and the iPad just doesn't come across as a truly amazing product.
So, how does a large, faceless corporation manage to pull off getting the love and admiration of people? Apple isn't worse than other companies, clearly, but the outpouring of love for virtually everything they do just seems a bit mych,