But they are facing some serious challenges in the next year, and market share is unlikely to be as assured as it was with the iPad 2. For one, the new iPad isn't delivering anything ground shaking - it's got better cameras, the screen resolution is way better and it will operate on the 4G network if you fork out for the top models. I understand the processor is another improvement, but my guess is that will have some power sapped by the better screen, such are the trade-offs with computers.
The 4G bit is an unknown quantity; coupled with the enhanced resolution the ten times faster network speeds may sway some early adopters and might just make the iPad look like a contender as a business machine as opposed to an executive toy. And don't underestimate the loyal Apple users who will queue for hours in the rain to be the first to hold the latest version.
However the playing field is levelling and the initial thunder Apple deservedly stole from, well, pretty much everyone else on the release of the iPad is now just a distant rumble. There are a number of serious contenders jockeying to take some of their market share and recently the Amazon Kindle Fire, actually a smaller, cheaper and less able tablet, seems to have created a dent in Apple's income - although it only seems to have hurt the market analysts, Apple themselves are hardly struggling.
The iPad 2 has proven to be a good machine - quicker and lighter than the original model, with a front facing camera to boot, so Skyping became a reality and, dare I say it, cool compared to clipping a naff web cam onto your monitor. I don't know how long Apple will sell the iPad 2 for, or at what discount, but my guess is that they are prepared to sacrifice some potential iPad 3 customers to the reduced price iPad 2 in the hope that they also steal a significant number of Kindle Fire customers in the process, due to the greater utility of the iPad over the Fire for what may be a much closer price point.
Regardless of whether you are a potential iPad user or have been waiting for the now three month overdue Kindle Fire in the UK, I suggest you consider grabbing a reduced price iPad 2 while the price is lower.
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