I've been doing a lot of thinking recently about Apple's iOS business model. There's just been something about it that seems so "not-computing industry" to me but I haven't been able to put my finger on it..until now!
I would like to posit that iOS is basically Apple's device-scalable video game console OS. It makes perfect sense if you think about it. A sometimes-mobile and non-extensible operating system that offers tight development controls, astonishingly limited hardware support, and a tendency to just "work" when you add a new application or start one up (do not react to this applehordes, it's conceptual not a fact). It isn't an extension of your computer exactly but an extension of an equally inflexible and locked down application on your computer (iTunes). It has individualized 3rd party product titles that you buy through another tightly-controlled system and you have to buy the specific hardware to run these applications.
So, enter the iPad. A large-scale, semi-mobile device that packs all the elements of a gaming console (including the screen) into a single form factor available all over the world. It's different from the iphone and ipod touch in this regard as both products had an alternate use that apps were tacked on to.
The iPad IMHO is the first foray into mixing traditional computer and game console business models and interestingly it seems most appealing to the aging semi-nerd crowd. I do a visual survey of the demographics of iPad users on the NYC subway during my work commute and 75% of users look 35-50.
Could it be that the iPad is picking up where the Wii left off in adding new demographics into the console fray? Only time will tell. Oh...and the new iTV setup should shed some light on this as well.