ANALYST: Apple Will Sell 48 Million iPads This Year, And That’s A Conservative Number

steve wozniak ipad 3G

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Stern Agee analyst Shaw Wu told All Things Digital that they are not only predicting 48 million iPad shipments for 2012, but that that number “could turn out conservative.”Apple sold roughly 38.06 million iPads last calendar year (25.06 million between Q1 and Q3, 13 million estimated for Q4). If it can sell 48 million iPads in 2012, it makes for a nice 26% increase.

Chalk it up to lots of unconfirmed new offerings in the iPad 3 — a much faster quad-core processor, Siri capabilities, a higher quality display with twice the pixel density, and super-fast 4G LTE connectivity.

If Apple can deliver on enough of these improvements, it’ll be enough to force the fence-sitters into choosing between an iPad or any other tablet.

But remember what All Things Digital said in June, somewhat famously: “Consumers don’t want tablets, they want iPads.”