Last year was the year of the iPad 2, with Apple’s tablet taking the top spot in the market. Competitors struggled to compete with the iPad, and largely failed. There were no significant Android tablet sales until the end of the year, when the Kindle Fire was released.
It looks like 2012 will be the year of the iPad 3, with the exact same scenario playing out. There were no likely iPad competitors at CES, and so far, there’s nothing in the works. Even Amazon’s Kindle Fire is going to have a hard time competing with Apple in 2012, especially if the release of the iPad 3 brings a price drop to the iPad 2.
With a retina display that’s twice the resolution of the current iPad, an improved (possibly quad-core) processor, a better battery life, improved cameras, and more RAM, the iPad 3 is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
The iPad 3, even with no concrete release details, has already spurred analysts to up their sales predictions. Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu says that Apple is going to sell 48 million iPads during 2012.
“We believe this significant refresh will likely help drive higher iPad sales and help further differentiate from arguably the only real competitor in the market, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and not to mention the myriad of Android offerings out there.”
In comparison, Apple sold approximately 32.4 million iPads over the course of 2011, making this a generous estimate. Wu, however, believes that 48 million may even be a conservative prediction, with Apple’s actual tablet sales exceeding that number.