Refreshed internals, lower price point possible.
iPad's Share of Tablet Market Hits 68% in 2Q 2012
Apple shipped a robust 17.0 million iPads worldwide and maintained its strong market leadership with 68 percent share during the second quarter of 2012. Apple continued to shrug off the much-hyped threat from Android and the iPad’s global tablet share is at its highest level since Q3 2010. [...]
Despite high expectations for companies like Amazon, Samsung, Acer and Asus, the Android community has yet to make a serious dent in Apple’s dominance of the tablet market. Unspectacular hardware designs, limited uptake of cellular models and a modest number of tablet-optimized services have been among some of the main reasons for Android’s mixed performance so far.
Google's Android platform actually kept pace with the overall market's 66.8% growth, enabling it to hold steady with 29.3% of the market. Apple's 83% growth instead came at the expense of smaller players such as Microsoft, which saw its share of the market fall from 4% to 1.2% as the company has yet to roll it out its major tablet effort with Windows 8.
Apple's continued strength in the tablet market comes even though a number of observers have predicted an erosion of its dominant position amid increasing numbers of low-cost Android tablets. But with Apple riding high on the launch of the new third-generation iPad just prior to the start of the second quarter, Apple is improving its position in the market. With rumors of an "iPad mini" coming later this year, Apple could further solidify its leadership position by competing more closely on price with some of the recent high-profile Android entrants such as Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's just-introduced Nexus 7.