Apple to Ship 55 Million iPad 3 Units in 2012, Says Leading Analyst

From tech’s greatest underdog to the tech world’s top dog, the last twenty years have been good to Apple. And this year could end up being the best year to date, especially if lofty new sales estimates manifest.

According to Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu, Apple’s forthcoming iPad 3, which will be introduced next week to the public, could quickly become the bestselling new iPad to hit the market since the initial product debated in early 2010.

Wu is projecting that Apple will ship 55 million units in 2012 if the iPad’s hardware upgrade is as significant as the market expects it to be. In addition to the widely expected infusion of Retina Display, Siri voice control, and a faster processor, Apple is believed to have boosted the tablet’s battery life significantly.

“This is due to AAPL’s ownership of core intellectual property including systems design, semiconductors, battery chemistry, and software,” Wu said Wednesday. “We view the potential inclusion of 4G LTE as key with speeds approaching that of a quality personal computer experience. We also view as a positive indicator that the upcoming iPhone refresh in the fall timeframe will likely include this key feature as well.”

Are you going to be in line to get an iPad 3 on the first day of availability?