10 years ago, most people had two primary electronic devices; a desktop computer (or one at the office and one at home) and a cell phone. In the past 10 years (particularly over the last 2 or 3), a number of devices have emerged that fit in-between these devices. To this point though, the more mobile a product is, the less functional it has been.
In my opinion, if something is going to shakeup the mobile device world, it must not fit on this spectrum. The closest any device has come to breaking this spectrum is the iPhone. Apple was the first company to give us a (popular) device that was just as mobile as a cell phone, but had much of the functionality of a laptop. We all saw how rapidly and enthusiastically the tech world accepted the iPhone.
The reason I am not impressed with the iPad is that it does not break this continuum, at least not by itself. If/When HTML5, better Rich Internet Applications and wider adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) models become the norm rather than the exception; you will see tablets take off. At that point, I will use a tablet computer for all of the things I use a laptop for. In this kind of a world, I won’t need local storage or massive compute power on the machine that I produce presentations, documents and diagrams on. I will perform all these functions using my browser and software such as Google Docs. This way I will be able to use a tablet for everything I use a laptop for today. Then a tablet might make serious headway in to the mainstream, but this won’t be because of the technology Apple unveiled yesterday.