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Steve Jobs already e-mailing customers from iPad?

Several Apple customers who have received e-mail replies in recent days say that the Apple CEO is e-mailing not from an iPhone but an iPad.

He's sitting at home. The thighPad is just where it's supposed to be, gently warming his lap. Who knows if he takes his sneakers off?

But in another subtle gesture to market his "magic and revolutionary" product, Steve Jobs is reportedly already using an iPad to answer customer queries.

According to Tuaw, having already begun to personally answer customers' iPad questions just a couple of weeks ago--the Apple CEO has gravitated away from replying to them on an iPhone and whipped out an iPad.

One customer reportedly asked whether he could transfer his Google Docs to an iPad through iWork.com or iDisk. Jobs, ignoring more pressing matters like, perhaps, a friend request from Eric Schmidt, dedicated time to carefully type on the iPad's lovely wide keypad: "Yes."

Steve Jobs introduces the iPad on January 27. James Martin/CNET

Another reportedly asked the Apple CEO whether the iPhone will be graced with a universal mailbox. Unlike so many customers service representatives who regurgitate formula answers (did you see last Sunday's "Undercover Boss" on CBS? Quite frightening), Jobs knows that each customer is an individual. So his reported reply to the universal mailbox query: "Yep."

Perhaps there will be those who think that some lower level being at Apple is really replying to these questions. For some strange reason, I have a feeling that Jobs, so well tuned to humanity and its needs, has personally dedicated his fingers and time to satisfy these committed customers.

It's one thing for Stephen Colbert to convert the masses on Apple's behalf. It's quite another for the CEO to just occasionally talk to the core of his brand's following. Here is someone who is using a product that hasn't yet entered the stores just to show that the world, at least as far as he can control it, might be changing.

There really aren't very many CEOs who would so much as think about doing that. And it's the very brevity and matter-of-factness of his replies that actually make them authentic.

For me, the most perversely entertaining reply of the past was Jobs' reported answer to the creator of an iPhone app called iPodRip. The creator wanted to know whether he could, please, pretty please keep the iPod part of his app's name, because his app really, really helped Apple's customers.

Jobs reportedly typed from his iPhone: "Change your apps name. Not that big of a deal. Steve." The app is now called iRip.