There's no doubt that 2012 is going to be a big year for the tablet. As people from both inside and outside the professional world begin to rely on tablet computing more and more, we will see the wars heat up between players like Android, Amazon and Apple.
But according to one analyst, the year isn't just going to be good for Apple - it's going to be spectacular.
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu told All Things D that we should prepare for massive iPad shipments this year:
We believe this significant refresh will likely help drive higher iPad sales and help further differentiate from arguably the only real competitor in the market, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and not to mention the myriad of Android offerings out there. We are currently modeling 48 million iPad shipments for calendar 2012.
He went on to say that 48 million was actually a conservative estimate.
Of course the "significant refresh" that Wu refers to is the release of the much-anticipated iPad 3, which is expected to happen sometime in the early part of this year.
Other rumors detailing specs of the iPad 3 have emerged as of late. Last week, we heard that the tablet could have graphics that are 20 times more powerful than the iPad 2. The iPad 3 is also expected to have a faster processor and run on next-gen (LTE) wireless networks. It could also be receiving a major camera upgrade.
Considering the success of the iPad 2, one can only imagine how well an iPad 3 with these kinds of specs would perform.