Apple could break through its 100 millionth iPad this year

Apple is currently the top tablet manufacturer, leading over Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Samsung, and more. Apple’s iPad sold an astonishing 15 million units in its 2011 holiday quarter alone, bringing the total number of iPads sold to about 55 million.

According to a few new reports from analysts, they suspect Apple could sell its 100 millionth iPad in 2012…

USA Today points us to two analysts specifically. Analyst Shaw Wu predicts that Apple will sell 55 million iPads in 2012, while analyst Gene Munster says it will be more around 60 million. Those are crazy numbers, but is certainly doable thanks to Apple’s newest unveiling.

Next week, Apple is set to unveil the iPad 3 at its event in San Francisco, California. The iPad 3 is rumored to have a Retina display, quad-core processor, larger battery, upgraded cameras, Siri, and LTE support. When it hits the market, customers should rush to purchase it.

While still a long way off, Apple will also have another smashing holiday quarter. We expect the company to crush last year’s iPad sales numbers, which will push to the 100 millionth iPad.

We’re not really sure what to make of the 7-inch ‘iPad mini’ rumors that have been sparking up over the last few weeks, but they’re indicating that a 7-inch tablet out of Apple should land in Q3.

An ‘iPad mini’ being sold around the holidays this year could mean big numbers for Apple. While the company didn’t lose many, Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire took away a little amount of iPad sales from Apple. Customers just entering the tablet market found a $199 tablet to be a better option, but if Apple had a similar offering, it would crush the competitors.

Apple is also exploding overall as a company. The California-based company broke through to a $500 billion market cap last week and still currently leads as the world’s most valuable company. During the holiday quarter, the company also sold 37 million iPhones worldwide.

While you might think 55 million iPads in one year might be hard to come by, with its latest offerings this shouldn’t be too hard of a task for Apple. Also pricing the iPad 2 as a cheaper option to the iPad 3, this should help win over a few more customers.

How many iPads do you think Apple will sell this year?