News Analysis: Apple needs to launch the iPad 3 in the first quarter of 2012-whether it wants to or not-to maintain the sales momentum of its market-leading tablet.
the iPad 2 continues to sell well, rumors abound over when Apple will finally
launch the next version of the tablet, the iPad 3. Recently, Digitimes reported
Apple will likely release the iPad 3 in the first quarter of 2012
, and the
device would come with a host of improvements that, given Apple's history,
should ensure that the product stays atop the tablet space for the foreseeable
its part, Apple hasn't said when it will launch the iPad 3. In fact, the
company hasn't even said that it's working on a follow-up model to the iPad 2.
But as we look ahead at the many products that will be coming to store shelves
in 2012, it's clear that waiting to launch the iPad 3 until after the first
quarter of 2012 would be a huge mistake on Apple's part. The smart move is to
launch the device in the first quarter, as Digitimes' sources have said it
on to find out why an iPad 3 would be far more successful if
launched in the first quarter of 2012
rather than later on in the year.
1. A design refresh is in order
the iPad 2 launched earlier this year, it came with an awfully similar design
to the original iPad. Apple likely did that to keep costs down and increase
margins. But with companies like Sony innovating on tablet designs,
it's time for Apple to reassert itself as the leader in that market
sooner it does so, the better.
2. The competition is catching up
the iPad 2 launched with a dual-core processor, dual cameras and other
important features, it was leading in power. But now, devices like the Galaxy
Tab 10.1 and others have surpassed it. And with more tablets featuring
quad-core processors being prepared for next year, Apple better get its own high-powered
option on store shelves before its current device looks obsolete in comparison.
3. The Kindle Fire is catching on
Apple didn't have a single competitor to worry about, it wouldn't need to push the
next iPad to store shelves. But because of the Kindle Fire's popularity, it's
Apple regained some of the lost spotlight
and drove the point home to
consumers and enterprise users alike that it's still the top player in the
4. Android is gaining some popularity
year, Android wasn't a concern for Apple in the tablet market. Even earlier
this year, the operating system was falling short. But over the last several
months, thanks to devices like the Kindle Fire and Galaxy Tab 10.1, Android is
starting to gain some ground on Apple. A new iPad might be able to stymie