To define a new generation of computing by its isolation and exclusion of the previous generation is not sustained by the history of computing.
The first post-minicomputer microcomputers (also known as PCs) were used alongside mainframes and mini-computers. They were typically used for 2-dimensional spreadsheets analysis by individuals in many departments and were easier to justify cost-wise than the time-sharing cost structure of the incumbent computers. Many microcomputers were able to access mini-computers and mainframes through terminal emulation software (and sometimes special hardware boards) so they were still able to work with existing business processes. They did not require dedicated personnel for administration but had a shared support department. Input and data storage were on the “desktop” as was printing. Compaq, Dell, HP, Apple and IBM embraced this new form factor. Their products were cheaper and simpler to operate than the previous generation of computers. Initially, the products were not more powerful.
Hay que tener en cuenta que no es estrictamente necesario conectar el iPad a un PC. Apple lo activa en la propia tienda a los usuarios que lo solicitan y a partir de ese momento es posible utilizarlo de forma autónoma durante toda la vida del producto si se quiere. Pero es evidente que el iPad está pensado para tener una conexión periódica a iTunes, aunque sea sólo para mantener una copia de seguridad del contenido. Es posible que dentro de no mucho tiempo Apple acabe por cortar este nexo de unión pero por ahora es prácticamente -salvando el caso extremo que he descrito antes- inevitable.