Although a number of Android-powered tablets are currently flying off store shelves, Apple is widely expected to maintain its dominance of the hyper-competitive mobile market.
Indeed, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes the new iPad is a "significant upgrade" that will help Cupertino retain its sizable lead - especially after Apple reduced the price of its iPad 2 in "a strong defensive move" to help fend off Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky expressed similar sentiments, noting that Apple’s "powerful ecosystem" - iTunes, iCloud, iOS and the App Store - will also help drive sales of the device.
As such, Abramsky expects Cupertino to ship 62 million iPads during 2012, essentially claiming 74% of the tablet market.
Meanwhile, Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank says Apple "lapped" the competition yet again with its next-gen iPad, as Android and Windows tablet competitors will undoubtedly "have trouble matching" Cupertino’s price and performance specs.
To be sure, Whitmore pointed out that Windows 8 has thus far only garnered "mixed reviews," while Android and its ecosystem are in "disarray." As such, says Whitmore, devs will "flock" to iOS - drawn by the new iPad’s "raw performance characteristics" in terms of games and video content.
"We expect this upgrade to attract even more developers to the iOS platform (315M+ units shipped) whose new Apps (200K+ and counting) will attract even more users to the platform," Whitmore wrote in an industry note obtained by AppleInsider.
As TG Daily previously reported, Apple debuted its long-awaited, third generation iPad at an event on Wednesday morning in San Francisco. The new tablet - which will be available on March 16 - features a 2048x1536, 9.7-inch Retina Display capable of rendering 3.1 million pixels.
The device also boasts support for voice dictation and includes a 5 megapixel iSight camera with auto-focus and auto-exposure that records video in 1080p. 4G (AT&T and Verizon) connectivity options are (separately) available, with download speeds reportedly capable of hitting 73Mbps over LTE. Worldwide 3G roaming capabilities are supported, and the iPad can act as a personal hotspot if supported by the carrier.
In addition, the new iPad features an A5X processor with quad-core graphics, as well as improved battery life, offering 10 hours on Wi-Fi and 9 hours on 4G LTE. Despite its uber-thin appearance, the latest iteration of Apple’s wildly popular iPad weighs in at 1.4 pounds (slightly heavier than the iPad 2), and measures 9.4mm thin. Apple is currently accepting pre-orders, with the next-gen iPad slated to arrive on March 16.