The iPad 3 is set to propel Apple into a position where it can capture in excess of 70 percent of the tablet market during 2012, according to market research firm IMS Research.
IMS Research predicts that some 70 million iPads will be shipped in 2012, a figure that would represent a 71 percent year-on-year growth for the tablet. This massive increase is being put down to the even bigger gap that Apple will put between itself and the competition with the launch of the iPad 3.
"There is a large customer base loyal to Apple products that have been waiting for the latest tablet," said Gerry Xu, PC Market Analyst at IMS Research. "Many owners of the iPad 1 are also expected to upgrade to the latest release. In addition to this consumer demand, growth is also forecast as a result of sales into enterprise and education."
While other players have entered since the iPad's launch, such as Amazon's Kindle Fire, according to Xu none pose a significant threat to the iPad's continued dominance in the tablet market. In fact, he expects the market share of Android tablets to fall from 35 percent in 2011 to 26 percent in 2012 as they fail to compete against the user experience offered by the iPad.
What's worse for Android tablet makers is that the iPad is pushing them into the low-cost, low-profit-margin end of the market and making them compete against each other rather than against Apple direct.
This was Apple's winning strategy when it came to dominating the media player and smartphone markets, and it looks like it is now set to work with tablets.
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