Originally Posted by caliminius
How could Apple even vaguely know demand would be high at that point?
It's not that they "know" per se, it's that they make educated estimations based on polling, 'net activity, buzz, etc. Apple probably has a team of people who research these very kinds of decisions. While Apple and Jobs aren't always right, they have a relatively successful track record of making sound, if not risky, business decisions.
Of course, everybody and his brother on the internet can have an opinion about Apple or Jobs, but the ones who really mean something are those who actually have something to risk, people who talk with their money, people willing to invest in Apple based on that opinion. While it clearly doesn't ensure a specific outcome, it's a good sign for Apple that their stocks are going up right now with all the iPad news and such. Apparently all the articles from the Techheads saying how unsuccessful the iPad will be was not enough to sway investors away.
Time will tell who made the right call.