"Who is this for?" The first iPod was expensive and really limited but what it did it did well. And it was head and shoulders above the current offerings from competitors in the mp3 market (Rios with virtually no storage and big clunky Creative Jukeboxes with lots of storage and horrible UI's)
Now they are trying to upstage the Kindle and the Nook, which being the one trick ponies that they are, isn't all that hard to do. Plus the Nook has a horrible UI and is slow as molasses. The Kindle is slightly better in the UI department but has lovely DRM that locks you down to their store and their devices forever (I know its weird how its Apple who has the open format this time and not Amazon... go figure).
The price is indeed a bit high right now but that can all change over the next year (the iPhone and iPod's initial high prices didn't stop them from becoming huge). But if you were already in the market for a eBook reader and wanted it to do other things as well, the 500 dollar iPad is pretty compelling.
iPad - who is this thing for anyhow?...
Who even asked for this?:
I think the print media and education sector were the only ones really salivating at what this thing would be and what they could do with it. If Apple wants to make money off the thing, it's going to be an institutional product before a consumer product.
Where will we see this in the wild?:
Predominantly, I see this as an institutional product for the following:
schools (all levels)
perhaps as a cost effective aid for those with disabilities
Any other uses?:
Of course, it could be a home living/media room device...but I think most don't care for yet another screen in the room.
Oh wait! Isn't it a prototype for...:
The device does seem to be the closest thing to a flexible screen mobile device in existence as far as function is concerned. Form is similar when you have the screen rolled out.
Presentation was misdirected:
Sorry Steve, either you're trying too hard or you misread your audience. You can't just drum up hype about a product the general populous wasn't *seriously* asking for, and expect it to catch on. If it focused on educational uses, print/multi-media uses, and other functions - it would have been waaaaayy more organized and compelling than just showing us the product and going through it's features.