Can the iPad tablet be as successful as the Apple iPhone?

The iPhone and iPod Touch are the fastest-adopted gadgets in consumer-tech history. Apple hopes that with the iPad tablet, lightning will strike twice.

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    The iPhone and iPod Touch (collectively) are the fastest-adopted gadget ever. Apple has sold many, many more iPods over the years, but the music players took about two years to pick up steam, as the chart shows. How will the iPad tablet fare?
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In about a month, Apple will release its much-anticipated iPad tablet. This new device falls somewhere in between a smart phone and a laptop – small enough to tote around town without exhausting your shoulders, but big enough to feel like you’re reading a magazine instead of staring at a playing card.

Many computermakers have dived into the tablet market over the past decade – most landing in a belly flop. Some foresee a similarly soggy future for the iPad. It uses a virtual keyboard instead of real buttons, can’t load every website, and various models cost between $499 and $829.

But Apple has won over skeptics many times before. While slow to catch on, its iPod revolutionized the music industry, almost single-handedly replacing albums with digital tracks. And according to the investment firm Morgan Stanley, the iPhone and iPod Touch are the fastest-adopted gadgets in consumer tech history (see chart).

Maybe Apple’s signature polish can enchant shoppers once again.

Find out much more about the Apple tablet at our special iPad coverage page here. And follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more sci-tech news.

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