Even before the iPad was officially unveiled, rumors of a forthcoming tablet computer from Apple invoked a feeling of imminent change in the mobile marketing community. Incredibly, however, between its January 27th unveiling and its April 3rd consumer rollout, the “game-changer” that is the iPad has given few clues as to how it will “change the game” for mobile marketing during the two months we had to contemplate its inevitable arrival.

Auspiciously, on the eve of a major upcoming announcement from Apple that is believed to be mobile advertising related, it’s slightly more apparent now than it was before as to how the iPad will prove the perfect canvas upon which mobile marketers can paint. If Apple’s “iAd” mobile marketing platform manifests as it is rumored to be structured, mobile marketers will have a “captive” audience like never before.

Given the iPad’s enormous appeal as a multimedia device that will revolutionize the way millions read news, watch movies, and enjoy a multitude of other forms of digital content, Apple is apparently feeling comfortable enough with the power of the iPad to literally “lock down” the device if users attempt to bypass the static or video ads that are displayed in short duration. A wave of recent patents illustrates that Apple is working on a variety of ways to literally make mobile ads both unavoidable and, at the same time, not so obtrusive or cumbersome to tolerate.

From location-specific ad targeting, to local mobile marketing ads from all corners of the globe, the arrival of the iPad has inspired many to either take a first look at the potential of mobile marketing, or altogether overhaul their present lackluster efforts in the mobile realm. But, ultimately, as Apple puts to good use the potential of its groundbreaking mobile platform and its $300 million acquisition of Quattro Wireless, it’s now more apparent than ever that the hype surrounding what the iPad can do for mobile marketing may not have been over-exaggerated after all. In fact, just the opposite may, in good time, prove to be more accurate.