With 2 million iPads sold in two months, predictions for 10 million sales this year, and shortages at stores across the country, it's becoming quite clear that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) has done it again -- creating a hit product that at first seemed to fill no obvious needs.

Here's a short (and admittedly selective) look back at various points of the iPad's history. In reverse chronological order:

Rupert Murdoch Praises 'Beautiful' iPad, Predicts Apple Will Sell 10 Million This Year
Huffington Post, June 3, 2010

News Corp (Nasdaq: NWS) chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch praised Apple's "extraordinary" iPad and Apple CEO Steve Jobs' "incredible focus" in an interview with Fox Business.

Publishers see signs the iPad can restore ad money
AP, June 3, 2010

Good news for the news business: Companies are paying newspapers and magazines up to five times as much to place ads in their iPad applications as what similar advertising costs on regular websites.

Apple sells 2 million iPads in two months
Wikinews, June 3, 2010

Market analysts also upped price targets and sales estimates in response to the announcement. Shares for AT&T (NYSE: T), who provides data plans for the iPad, also rose yesterday.

Apple stock climbs
MercuryNews.com, June 1, 2010

A day after Cupertino Mac computer and "i" device maker Apple said it has sold 2 million iPads, its stock climbed $3.95, or 1.5%, to $260.83 -- as the major stock indexes turned downward.

Apple's 2 Million iPad Sales In Context
Forbes.com, May 31, 2010

Apple announced this morning that it sold over 2 million iPads in two months, suggesting Apple is adding over a billion dollars in new sales for this quarter. ... As Apple pointed out in its first press release on iPad sales, it only took 28 days to sell one million iPads. It took 74 days -- more than twice as many -- to sell one million iPhones in 2007. (At a slightly lower price.)

It took Apple almost two years to sell one million iPods.

Why I won't buy an iPad (and think you shouldn't, either)
Boing Boing, April 2, 2010

Gadgets come and gadgets go. The iPad you buy today will be e-waste in a year or two (less, if you decide not to pay to have the battery changed for you). The real issue isn't the capabilities of the piece of plastic you unwrap today, but the technical and social infrastructure that accompanies it.

Looking at the iPad From Two Angles
New York Times, March 31, 2010

"This device is laughably absurd," goes a typical remark on a tech blog's comments board. "How can they expect anyone to get serious computer work done without a mouse?"

"This truly is a magical revolution," goes another. "I can't imagine why anyone will want to go back to using a mouse and keyboard once they've experienced Apple's visionary user interface!"

Those are some pretty confident critiques of the iPad -- considering that their authors have never even tried it.

iPad versus Stone: a handy comparison
The Inquisitr, Feb. 1, 2010

Another bonus on the "stone" side -- you can happily take your rock into the bath. Can you do that with an iPad? Huh? Can you?

8 Things That Suck About the iPad
Gizmodo, Jan 27, 2010

A lot of people at Gizmodo are psyched about the iPad. Not me! My god, am I underwhelmed by it. It has some absolutely backbreaking failures that will make buying one the last thing I would want to do.

5 Reasons Why Apple's iPad Tablet Will Fail
About.com, Jan. 26, 2010

What it all boils down to is that the iPad doesn't fill a fundamental need. After all, when we forked out big bucks for the original iPhone, we were getting a phone and an MP3 player, which were two things we needed. What are we going to get with the iPad that we don't already have?