As expected, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced its promising tablet on Wednesday. The iPad aims to bridge the gap between the company's MacBooks and iPhones -- though in a nutshell, it's really just an iPhone on steroids.

The million-dollar question -- or in Apple's case the multibillion-dollar question -- is whether ordinary consumers will flock to the iPad after the die-hard pioneers snag the initial shipments. The slick gadget isn't cheap for a device that simply overlaps the functionality of existing Apple products. The iPad also thrives on connectivity, so it remains to be seen how many people out there are up for taking on another monthly data plan if they aren't perpetually tethered to Wi-Fi. 

It's still enough to send shivers down the spine of potentially affected industries. The iPad is launching with an e-book store, so what about Amazon.com's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle? It runs potentially spruced-up versions of App Store games, so is it curtains for Sony's (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation Portable? There's a lot of shrapnel in the iPad for companies that don't duck for cover.

Apple doesn't always hit it out of the park. Apple TV? Even in the company's blowout quarterly report on Monday, iPod and desktop sales were laggards. However, unlike other companies that need to prove that their introductions are worthy, Apple has the track record to lay the burden of proof on the naysayers.

Until the iPad fails, it's a winner.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B) was finally added to the S&P 500. Well, technically it's the recently split Class B shares getting the nod -- and only after the company completed its purchase of Burlington Northern. One can only imagine how the S&P 500 -- or even the Dow 30 -- would have fared if they had hopped on the Warren Buffett train earlier.
  • Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) is winning over more Wall Street believers. Lazard Capital Markets and Wunderlich Securities initiated coverage on the satellite radio giant with buy ratings. Just as the S&P 500 may be fashionably late on Buffett, where were the analysts when the stock was bottoming out 11 months ago at less than a tenth of today's price?

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Apple, Amazon.com, and Berkshire Hathaway are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, which is also an Inside Value selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield-wiper fluid when trying to look back. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.