When Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs took the stage Wednesday to introduce the iPad, the world expected the Next Big Thing. What we got instead was a head-scratcher.

We've already covered what the iPad does and doesn't do, and what our top analysts think the device will mean for Apple.

Now, we're drilling down for a profit play analysis of three industries in which the iPad fits, albeit in an oval-peg-round-hole sort of way:

  • Which of the telecoms will profit from the iPad? Will be it Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), or perhaps a handset maker such as Nokia (NYSE:NOK)?
  • Will the iPad boost profits for ailing newspaper holding companies such as Gannett (NYSE:GCI) and McClatchy (NYSE:MNI)?
  • Is the iPad's shadow big enough to cast a pall over netbook vendors?

Got your own thoughts about the iPad? Will you be buying one? Make your voice heard using the comments box below.