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iPad 2: Apple poised to maintain dominant tablet market share through 2011

What has two cameras, two core processors and is thinner than the iPhone 4?

The iPad 2, of course. Twice as fast and half as thick, the next-gen iPad – which launches in Canada March 25 – has enough improvements to maintain Apple’s dominant market share through 2011, according to analysts. 

Despite a tremendously rapid growth in competition – myriad tablets from major companies are anticipated to launch this year, notably the BlackBerry PlayBook and 10-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab – experts suggest Apple will retain at least a 75 percent hold on the tablet market, if not 80 or 85 percent.

Quoth Reuters:

“While it (iPad 2) doesn’t include any new breakthrough features or functionalities, the sum total of its refinements and upgrades – thinner, lighter, faster, more connected – significantly enhance the device’s overall appeal,” Oppenheimer’s Yair Reiner said in a note to clients. “This is a sad day for the crowd of competitors still struggling to home in on the first iPad’s price and performance.”

“Despite the launches of many competitive tablets, we believe Apple’s product leadership, vertical integration, and vast scale will cause it to win the largest shares of the tablet market and the majority of the economic benefits,” Jefferies & Co said.

Gleacher and Co called the technological improvements that the Apple design team made to the iPad 2 in just about 12 months as “nothing short of phenomenal.”

Research in Motion is expected to launch its enterprise-savvy BlackBerry PlayBook sooner than later, although only coming in a 7-inch model may deter potential buyers used to the iPad’s larger screen. Samsung will be launching a 10-inch Galaxy Tab this year, but is having issues competing with the iPad 2’s tech specs and price. Motorola’s Xoom may also make some waves, but there is nothing with as much hype and ubiquity surrounding it as Apple’s “magical and revolutionary” tablet, with its “unbelievable price” and “legendary battery life.”

Hyperboles or not, consumers are buying it, figuratively and literally.

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