People are buying iPads so fast it's poised to pass gaming platforms and cell phones to become the 4th largest consumer electronic category according to analysts with Bernstein.

I'm a little confused on how a single device like iPad can be a category, so maybe they mean it will be akin to how iPod is dominant and has come to be synonymous with MP3 player. So for the purpIf that proves to be accurate it will be quite the achievement for a device many predicted would be a flop, much larger companies tried to establish as a product category for decades before, and until competition arrives next year is pretty much carrying the entire form factor on its black glass and aluminum shoulders.

“This is much bigger than I thought it would be,” said Pete Najarian, co-founder of and a ‘Fast Money’ trader. “It’s really a total media device and there’s not much a PC can do that you can’t do on an iPad.”

We've read that iPod touch sales have put a hurt on Nintendo's mobile business, but Bernstein is now saying iPad purchases could also come at the expense of TVs, digital cameras, and other established consumer electronics devices. There's an opportunity cost to everything, right?

No wonder RIM's BlackBerry Playbook, Android tablets, Palm's webOS PalmPad, and Microsoft's rumored tablet strategy are all racing to get into the action. As Georgia said on the podcast, however, if most mainstream consumers who want a tablet device have already bought an iPad, how much room does that leave for the competition?