The wait is finally over as thousands of queuing Apple aficionados have got their hands on the new Apple iPad, the tablet device which was announced by Steve Jobs, the CEO of the Cupertino-based company, back in January.
The iPad went on sale at 9am across Apple stores in the US with the device and some sources have said that it attracted more than 250,000 reservations before it went on sale with most likely to be delivered and distributed today.
The number is however likely to be much, much higher than this; in the first 48 hours after Apple started taking pre-orders for the iPad from the 12th of March, an estimated 152,000 pre-orders were taken.
Analysts expect that between four and seven million of the devices will be sold before April next year which would easily position it as one of the best selling ebook and tablet PC ever.
Although the numbers fare poorly even compared to the original iPhone, it is a great start compared to established competitors like the Amazon Kindle which has apparently nearly three million users worldwide and the Barnes and Noble's Nook which sold half a million units over the past few months.
The iPad is selling for as little as $499 for the non-3G 16GB version rising to $829 for the 3G-enabled 64GB model. Expect the 9.7-inch Tablet computer to go on sale in the UK as from later this month.
The iPad marks the dawn of yet another great product from Apple. Whether you like it or not Apple has changed the way people look at computers. Geeks, like Steve Jobs, have been elevated to the ranks of demi-Gods and rock superstars and the influence of Apple has permeated across mainstream culture.