iPad 3 Ready to Torpedo the Kindle Fire

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has dominated the tablet market since it launched the first iPad. Last year was all about the iPad 2 as it crushed competing tablets from Samsung, Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) and Motorola Mobility (NASDAQ:MMI) and others. However, during the last few months, Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire has made rapid progress in the low end tablet market raising some eyebrows on how the future of the tablet market could play out.

While we expect Amazon and Apple to continue to spar over tablet users despite their different price points, Apple plans to announce the iPad 3 in early March that could provide some fresh momentum to its tablet sales and stock price. According to a report from AllThings D, iPad 3 could be announced as early as the first week of March in an event held at San Francisco. [1]

The iPad is the second most valuable business for Apple after iPhone, and accounts for about just under our $550 price estimate for Apple stock. Our price estimate for Apple stock is about 10% above the current market price.

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iPad 3 to be more advanced tablet

As per AllThings D, the iPad 3 will have the following characteristics: “A device similar in form factor to the iPad 2, but running a much faster chip, sporting an improved graphics processing unit, and featuring a 2048×1536 Retina Display — or something close to it”. [1] This speculation is based on numerous “leaks” around its specs from industry watchers who keep close tabs on Asian component makers.

The iPad 3 could also include support for 4G LTE networks as the iPad has a bigger battery and can better support the power requirements of LTE. We discussed about the Apple’s strategy of making 4G available on iPad before the iPhone in our earlier note titled The Next iPad Could Get 4G LTE Before the iPhone.

We also noted recently in Can the iPad 3 Kill the Kindle Fire? that Amazon and other tablet markers have scaled back their new promotions around the anticipation of the iPad 3 in a sign of how much they anticipate this to suck up demand in the tablet market.

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Notes:
  1. Apple to Announce iPad 3 First Week in March, AllThings D, February 9th, 2012 [] []