How Many iPads Need To Be Sold To Make It A Viable Platform For Content?

When Apple announced their new iPad last week, many said it was a big deal for content owners as it now gives them another platform to try and monetize their content on. But what I didn't see anyone talking about is how many iPads Apple needs to sell before the platform has a big enough install base to make a difference to content owners?

For developers that plan to use the same app for the iPhone and iPad, the number of iPads sold does not really matter. But what about all of the content owners who are going to write new apps specifically for the iPad and charge for them? How many iPads need to be in the market before they have a chance at actually making any money? This is an expensive device that consumers will have to be willing to drop between $500-$1000 on. This isn't the cost of a Kindle. And while there are plenty of Apple fanboys who will run out to get an iPad as soon as they can, anyone who thinks this device will have the reach the iPhone or iPod did is crazy.

So just how many need to be sold to be successful? This isn't a trick question, I'm just really interested to hear what other people think in terms of the number of units that need to be sold to make it an important device to content owners. So far, I've only seen one published prediction on the number of sales from Thomas Weisel who projects 4.1M iPads will be sold this year. Think that can happen? Is it enough? Would love to hear your comments on it.