IT'S been hailed as the future of computing, with more than one million US sales in the first month of its release.
Now it is Australia's turn to be be gripped by iPad fever, with Apple's latest device finally hitting stores next Friday after a one-month delay.
The device is a touchscreen tablet computer that bridges the gap between the smartphone and the laptop.
Since the iPad went on sale in the US on April 3, it has been a runaway success. More than 500,000 units were sold in in the first week and the iPad hit the million mark after just 28 days - a milestone the original iPhone took 74 days to reach in 2007.
Many Australians eager to get their hands on the iPad took advantage of the strong Australian dollar to import one during the US launch.
At one point iPads, which were then valued at $A800, were being sold for as much as $A2000 on eBay in the days and weeks following the US launch.
Pre-orders opened on May 10, with early customers given a May 28 delivery date. Others pre-ordering after that date have been advised of a June 7 delivery.
And customers will be able to buy an iPad in person from the Apple Store on May 28, with a starting price of $629 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version.
One Australian user who couldn't wait to get his hands on it was NSW Australian of the Year Jon Dee.
The environmentalist and Planet Ark founder, now Do Something managing director, has been a long-time fan of the tablet computer format: "I've been using tablet PCs for over 10 years and have been waiting for Apple to bring out a tablet so there was no way that I was going to wait any longer than I needed to."
"The iPad can be turned on instantly and you can immediately be typing up your ideas. You can't do that with normal computers."
Mr Dee laughed off the initial criticisms of the device when it was announced in January.
"If someone says to you that it's just a big iPhone, it's obvious that they haven't tried it yet," he said.
"This device is the tipping point that will mainstream the use of tablet devices in the home and business.
"What surprises me is how heavily I'm using it already.
"When it comes to the iPad versus my normal laptop, I'm now using the iPad 70 per cent of the time."
Another reason for Mr Dee's early iPad purchase was to see if his new book Sustainable Growth would work on the device. "Sensis just put out the print version, but we wanted to make sure that people can also read it free on their iPads," he said.