Sterne Agree analyst Shaw Wu tells clients that he expects Apple to sell 48 million iPads in calendar 2012.

“We believe this significant refresh will likely help drive higher iPad sales and help further differentiate from arguably the only real competitor in the market, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and not to mention the myriad of Android offerings out there,” he says.

The iPad 3 is rumored for the first quarter of the year. It “will likely raise the bar for its rivals, and perhaps further buttress a postulate we’ve discussed here before: consumers don’t want tablets, they want iPads,” notes “AllThingsD” (