"and -25 to 75 is fairly trivial to do without pushing the cost through the roof".
A partially valid point, but:
1)you're talking cars, not consumer products. Consumer products are intended to be operated indoors in an environment which is comfortable for human beings.
There's not much point in having an Ipad desiged to operate at a temperature of +50 C if the human being can't withstand that temperature!
Human must be with IPad for it to work.
So on first sight, the temperature range of 0-35 for an Ipad should be fine, most of the time in western countries. In Asia, the Middle East, where the ambient temperature hits 50 C, then there's a problem, but chances are you're not going to be sitting in 50C!
The issue is obviously direct sunlight and its absorbtion, not the ambient temperature.
You need to make a distinction between the two.
2) How do you deal with the sunlight question, or in general, too high a temperature?
Cool the device...put some forced cooling inside using a fan, say good bye to the battery life then! In sub zero, heat the IPad up? This is actually what some military products do, incorporate heaters in to the LCD screens to heat them up to bring them into their normal operating temperature range. Definitely kiss good bye to the battery life now!
Could they have designed the chips, could they have produced an LCD panel which would run down to -25 and up to +70 and still keep a commercially viable product based on the cost?
I doubt it, otherwise they would have.
What Apple have done wrong, is to oversell the idea that the Ipad can go anywhere, and any electronics engineer knows it can't, unless it's been designed with that in mind, and it almost certainly wasn't because of cost factors, battery life, and other technical performance issues with possibly the screen.
I know you know, but for the other readers here, battery life also depends on temperature.