Apple’s iPad 3 To ‘Capture Lion’s Share’ of Tablet Sales

Despite the growing number of tablet computers in the market, some analysts still believe Apple will dominate sales with its highly anticipated iPad 3.

Apple is expected to unveil the latest version of its iPad tomorrow at a media event in San Francisco.

“As outlined previously … we think the iPad 3 will be positioned to capture the lion’s share of the tablet market going forward due to relatively benign competition from Droid tablets and our concerns of a slow ramp of Windows tablets later this year,” Deutsche Bank equity analysts Chris Whitmore and Joakim Mahlberg wrote Monday in a research note.

“In the interim, we look for Apple to continue building on its already tremendous lead in the category,” the analysts said.

Sales of the iPad have certainly been impressive. In the 14 weeks ending Dec. 31, Apple sold 15.43 million iPads. That represented a 111 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter.

The iPad has proven popular for businesses as well as consumers. Just nine months after Apple launched the iPad, 80 percent of Fortune 100 companies had either deployed the tablet or were piloting it, according to a Morgan Stanley report that was released in February 2011.

The iPad still remains the leader in the tablet space, although Apple is facing increasing competition. In the third quarter of 2011, Apple controlled 59 percent of the global tablet market based on its operating system’s (iOS) market share. Google’s Android operating system  a platform that is featured in a variety of tablets  held 32.4 percent share during the same period. But IDC anticipated that Android’s share would climb to 40.3 percent in the fourth quarter, thanks largely to sales of Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire, and to a lesser extent, the introduction of the Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet ($199; 8 GB). In its fourth-quarter results Jan. 31, Amazon said that the Kindle Fire was the bestselling product across millions of items available on

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