Apple will continue to dominate the tablet market this year, with or without an iPad 3 entering the market, according to an analyst.
"We do not expect iPad 3 this year, but there's no rush," J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz wrote in a Sept. 19 research note excerpted by Fortune. "The other tablet entrants have stumbled. Offerings by [Motorola Mobility] and [Research In Motion] have been the latest disappointments. Also, we had the opportunity to demo Sony's tablet before its launch. We were not impressed."
He also jumped on the current pundit-and-analyst bandwagon in suggesting that Apple will release two new iPhone models in a few weeks: a higher-end "iPhone 5" alongside an updated variant of the iPhone 4 targeted at midrange consumers. "As for the current iPhone 4, we expect it to subsume 3GS as the lower-end offering."
Rumors of Apple prepping a next-generation tablet for release sometime in later 2011 have circulated for some time, although without much evidence to back them. For its first two versions of the iPad, Apple stuck with releases early in 2010 and 2011, suggesting the next one could come in February or March 2012.
Meanwhile, Apple is locked in battle with Samsung over its as-yet-unreleased smartphone: a Sept. 18 article in the Korea Times quotes an unnamed source, apparently a Samsung senior executive, as saying Samsung will "take Apple to court" to block Korean sales of the iPhone 5.
The battle with Samsung has proven particularly vicious and wide-ranging, with courtroom drama taking place all over the world. Both sides claim their rival's products violate existing patents, but Apple has taken its complaints one step further by accusing Samsung of outright copying its designs.
Samsung recently filed a legal complaint in France against Apple. "The complaint focuses on three technology patents, and not on the design of the tablets," a Samsung spokesperson told Agence France-Presse, which reported that the first court hearing is scheduled for December.
Apple is also undergoing a seismic transition with the resignation of longtime CEO Steve Jobs, who handed the reins to former COO Tim Cook. At this point, analysts generally view the disruption from the transition as minimal, at least when it comes to the product pipeline.