By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The tablet wars are heating up this week as Microsoft’s second-generation Surface and other Windows-based devices are set to appear in stores, and there’s an announcement from Apple expected tomorrow.
Another new iPad is expected to enter the market as the landscape of the market continues to change.
The full-size version of Apple’s flagship tablet hasn’t seen a major update since it got the ultra-high-resolution “Retina” display a year and a half ago.
“We’re going to see some big changes there,” says Rhoda Alexander, the top tablet market analyst for market research firm IHS. “What we expect to see with that product is a much thinner, lighter version, taking in a lot of design elements that Apple did when they did the iPad Mini.”
The refreshed 9.7″ iPad likely also will be outfitted with the same fingerprint reader and quick processor as the just-released iPhone 5S. The iPad Mini may get its own Retina display.
“There’s going to be no shortage of alternatives for people interested in tablets this holiday season,” Alexander says.
This includes the new Windows products, Amazon’s updated Kindle Fire, Google’s Nexus, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Although analysts believe the iPad Mini is already the world’s best-selling tablet, Alexander tells KYW Newsradio we could see a price cut to help Apple recapture some market share being siphoned off by some lower-cost Android models.
According to market research firm IDC, Apple has seen its hold on tablet shipments shrink from about 60 percent of the total market in the summer of 2012 to just over 30 percent this year, as Android tablet-makers benefit from the introduction of cheaper, smaller tablets.