Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is expected to announce a new version of its iPad tablet by the end of March. There is plenty of speculation about what will be included in the new release, but everyone pretty much agrees that no matter what, the iPad 3 will sell like the proverbial hotcakes.
An analyst at Sterne Agee told the WSJ’s All Things Digital blog, “We are currently modeling 48 million iPad shipments for calendar 2012.” And that could be a “conservative” estimate.
The only real, existing competitor the brokerage firm sees is the Kindle family from Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN). A new Windows Phone 8 operating system is due from Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) in late summer or early fall, and there will surely be a lot more devices that use the Android operating system from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG).
The Microsoft/Nokia duo might take a small bite out of Apple’s sales, but nothing is likely to derail the iPad juggernaut.