Estimate: Over a Million iPads Sold

Ad network Chitika estimates that more than a million iPads have been sold to date in the US, with almost 20% in California. New York is the next largest iPad market with just over 8% of iPad sales. 

If it's all true, a threshold has been crossed and the "tablet market" is established. When the iPad reaches Europe -- and when the 3G version goes on sale at the end of this month -- we'll probably see a couple million more go out the door in relatively short order. 

On to something of a paradox. The iPad has, in my opinion, made apps even more important and cemented their position in the "mobile" ecosystem. The debate of apps vs. mobile Web is now over; both will co-exist. The mobile Web will not "win" as many had bet -- seeing apps as a kind of transitional market.

This is a paradox because, as a mobile device of sorts, the iPad offers a much better Internet experience than can a smartphone, including the iPhone. So why do you need apps? (Perhaps it's better to call the iPad a portable device rather than a mobile device -- because people won't be using it "on the go" in the same way as a smartphone.) However once you experience them, iPad apps, such as the Wall Street Journal, NY Times or USAToday, present a dramatically better experience vs. their respective sites on the Internet. This is and will also be true for magazines and other types of publications, if they choose to build apps.

Because of the primacy of apps, it's unlikely that tablet devices without them or without access to them (other than eReaders) will enjoy much success in the market. A tablet version of a Windows 7 machine, the HP Slate for example, will simply be a handicapped netbook without a keyboard. 

It's possible that Adobe or Microsoft could make Flash or Silverlight-based apps that work across other tablets, bringing a version of the "app store" experience to those devices. We'll see. 

In my month or so with the iPad I find that it's very much a hybrid experience: more pure Internet than the iPhone but much less Internet than the PC. Where there are apps I use them first. I "resort" to the Internet where apps don't exist.