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Steve Jobs sparked the war of the tablets in January with the iPad announcement and the hype machine has been in full swing ever since. When Apple unveils the iPad in stores on April 3, consumers will finally see what the hype is all about. Once the dust settles after the initial fan boy, early adopter buying explosion, what is the real function of the iPad? Could it be applied to business, health care, gaming, and even education? War of the Tablets Apple is going to set the industry standard with its iPad, with a clear opportunity for market leadership. Amazon is poised to be the #2 market competitor as it adds more tablet-like features to its successful Kindle. We anticipate the Windows 7-powered HP Slate to take the #3 position in the tablet market. [Sparxoo] Who Am I Talking to Here If the iPad is going to live up to its hype, it needs to "achieve the mass-market penetration — and cultural impact — of the iPod and iPhone." To do this, Apple needs to go beyond fan boy, early adopters, and target mainstream, tech-savvy users interested in e-book readers. [NY Times] Uses in Health Care and Business The iPad could give the health care industry a techno facelift. The device could connect the electronic health care system with patients and staff. It could also save time for practitioners to spend more time with patients. [Top News] iPad Not So Business Friendly. Microsoft, Anyone? As the iPad runs Apple’s iPhone OS, it cannot run Mac or Windows desktop apps. While there are thousands of iPhone apps, "most aren’t something you’d want for business use." The business aspect might be a gap for Microsoft to fill with its Courier pad. [Information Week] The Next Gaming Platform? Games dominate the iPhone app store. Will the iPad store be that much different? "It’s possible that everyone will have a different use case." It could revolutionize the cookbook industry or be the knight in white armor for the print industry. Browsing the iPad App Store: A Video [By @viticci] from Federico Viticci on Vimeo. [ZD Net] Education: We’ll See in 10 Years As the education market moves "glacially slowly," the iPad might not explode immediately. The impact comes in the long term. Once education publishers and institutions are 90% sure it’s a...

To read more about what the iPad could be used for, go to Sparxoo, a digital marketing, branding and business development blog.