March 07, 2012, 6:51 AM —
Here's what Rollup expects from tomorrow's announcement by Apple on the Next iPad. (Tune in for LIVE BLOG here on Wednesday at 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST)
The starting point is that Apple's iPad is still the only successful tablet, after two years. The relative success of the Amazon Kindle and Kindle Fire, and Barnes & Noble's Nook, only underscore that fact. Rivals boasting quadcore processors and LTE have not yet seen those features translate into the kinds of sales that are consistently realized by the iPad models -- into products that appeal to a mass consumer market.
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Apple can sustain and expand iPad sales as it did with iPhone sales with the iPhone 4S last year: establishing that this is a proven product that warrants the price tag, with some key additional or improved features. But the "big" technology upgrades can come in 2013, with more time for component prices to fall, for components to shrink in size, and for power management to improve.