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Apple set to unveil iPad 3

Wed, 03/07/2012 - 2:00pm
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

Apple is set to unveil its next-generation iPad at an event in San Francisco today. Analysts and news outlets also have speculated that the company could take the wraps off of a new Apple TV product, but in the world of Apple announcements, nothing is certain.

Some of the rumored upgrades to this next-generation iPad include an LTE modem, retina display, better camera and a faster processor.

Soumen Ganguly, an analyst with Altman Vilandrie & Co., says Apple is likely to keep changes in this iteration to a minimum.

"You know the old saying, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it?'" Ganguly said in emailed comments. "[The] iPad is already so dominant in the market that Apple doesn't need to make huge improvements to it."

Ganguly acknowledged that Apple's "one more thing," should there be one today, just might come in the form of a new Apple TV device.

"Make no mistake: An Apple TV announcement is coming. Apple TV, combined with the iPad, will make the Apple experience that much stickier if you tie into a content subscription that you pay Apple for every month," Ganguly said.

Ganguly contends that Apple's combination of interconnected devices and content has fundamentally changed the game. "It's no longer about tablet vs. tablet anymore," he said. "It's ecosystem vs. ecosystem. Winning or losing now depends on the ability to tie your smartphone and your tablet and your laptop, and even your TV, together."

Regardless of what Apple announces today, most believe the company's stranglehold on the tablet market will continue. A Forrester report released yesterday shows "no significant Android challenger to Apple's dominance of the tablet market." A consumer survey conducted by Forrester found Apple with a 73 percent market share, with no other brand holding more than 6 percent market share.

When asked which brand of tablet consumers are considering, 61 percent said Apple, while 24 percent named Amazon.

Apple Stock has been on an upward tear since news of the announcement hit the wires. Shares of the company's stock recently broke $500 for the first time. As of this morning, Apple was trading at $534 per share.

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