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Apple’s in no hurry to release iPad 3, says industry analyst

Apple isn’t feeling any pressure to release the next generation of iPad — especially since there’s no near competitor at this point.

That’s the word from analyst Mark Moskowitz with J.P. Morgan, who reported that his conversations with industry insiders indicate that the iPad 3 won’t hit shelves until 2012 due to the lack of competition, among other factors.

While a report last month indicated that issues with the high-definition “Retina” display pushed back the release date for the iPad 3, Moskowitz said the schedule is less tech-related and more competition-related. Without a clear second-place tablet in the market, he and fellow industry analysts say the Cupertino company’s feeling no pressure to push out the next iPad.

“In our view, Apple should be in no rush,” he said. “The other tablet entrants have stumbled so far, and that trend-line could persist deep into 2012.”

While reports regarding iPad 3 prototypes continue to circulate, the trouble competitors are having with launching a similar tablet computer are becoming a regular part of the industry news wire. On Friday, Research in Motion announced that it had shipped only 200,000 models of its Playbook tablet computer this quarter — well under the 9.25 million iPads sold in the same quarter.

With Android tablets still struggling to replicate the success of Android smartphones, Apple continues to dominate the tablet market. According to Moskowitz, the next threat will likely come from Microsoft’s upcoming line of tablets sporting the Windows 8 operating system.

“We think the next potential threat to Apple’s tablet dominance is not until late 2012 when Windows 8-based tablets could hit the market,” he predicted.

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