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.

Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Nokia and Sprint Nextel are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the iPad parody patrol. He had stock and options positions in Apple at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy is taking a nap now. Bye.