“For many people, Apple’s iPad is a suitable PC replacement, and Apple is likely to see millions of iPad sales as PC substitutes. But Apple’s real opportunity — and probably why Apple thinks that the tablet market will eventually become bigger than the PC market — is for people to buy and use iPads where there weren’t PCs before,” Dan Frommer writes for SplatF.

“Case in point: This MasterCard ‘lounge’ in the American Airlines terminal at JFK airport — a roped-off area for MasterCard cardholders to sit on comfortable couches and chairs while they’re waiting for planes during the holiday travel season,” Frommer writes. “There are eight iPads set up for people to use. (Plus two iPads for the staff.) Four of the iPads are set up on swing-arms for people to use on the couches, including a selection of pre-installed apps. Four more are set up at a bench with stools.”

Frommer writes, “In theory, some or all of these could have been PC laptops. But they aren’t. The iPad seems to make more sense in this case: It’s easy to use, easy to clean, easy to install, and easy to maintain. It looks cool, and has name-brand awareness. And it’s inexpensive: The $500 base unit is just fine for this purpose, and Apple may even offer large-scale ‘enterprise’ discounts… So there’s ten iPads sold where there probably wouldn’t have been ten PCs sold.”

Read more in the full article, which includes a photo of the MasterCard lounge, here.

MacDailyNews Take: We see the tablet market as a huge market, and we could not be happier with our position in it. And we’ve got some fantastic things in the pipeline. And after selling 40 million in the first 18 months, which is more than our wildest dreams were and selling 3 out of every 4, I think we’ve got a fairly good handle on what to do next.Apple CEO Tim Cook, October 18, 2011