It's a breathtaking statistic reflected in my personal experience – almost half of my friends and colleagues now own an Apple slab.
But buying the device itself isn't the end of the story – there are hundreds of accessories and thousands of apps available to make the tablet more useful and entertaining. Here's my selection of must-have apps and accessories for the iPad.
Noteshelf (£3.99) is the note taking app I've been waiting two years for; ever since the launch of the original iPad I've been looking for an app to replace my handy Moleskine notebook.
Some apps have come close – Penultimate (69p) produces beautiful sketches while CourseNotes (£1.99) is great for keeping typed notes organised – but none has brought together the trinity I consider essential for a notepad replacement: typed notes, pen sketches and photographs.
Noteshelf brings all three formats on to a single page and is very close to being the only notepad you'll ever need.
One major frustration I have with the iPad is its hidden file system – there's nowhere to store groups of files relating to a particular project. For control freaks like me, GoodReader (£2.99) is a godsend. Though promoted chiefly as a PDF reader, the app allows you to create and move folders, download files from cloud services such as Dropbox or Gmail and open various standard file types that the iPad doesn't usually support.
For photographers, Apple's iPhoto app (£2.99) works in tandem with the iPad Camera Connection Kit (£25) to allow you to import high-res digital camera pictures, process them on the iPad then share them with friends or post them on Facebook.
I gave this set-up a field test on a recent four-hour train journey and was very impressed. Importing 300 photos from a Nikon dSLR took just a few seconds and the process of sifting, cropping and editing pictures in iPhoto was arguably quicker and easier than it would have been on a laptop using £1000 worth of Adobe Photoshop.
However, the real must-have accessory for the iPad is Apple TV (£99). This black box connects to a high-def television (and optionally to a hi-fi system) to allow wireless playback of virtually any content from the iPad (and the iPhone 4S). It does a lot more too but once you can wirelessly stream the iPad screen to a 40in TV, any other features take a back seat.