As with every Apple release, the March arrival of the new iPad 3 was one of the largest technological events of 2012. The only other event that could possibly trump this is the potential for a new iPhone, rumoured to be on the market as early as June. So the two biggest technology releases of 2012 go to the world’s most popular fruit. But just how did the iPad 3 release stack up in the markets?

Last week we saw the numbers and, according to Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, this was their most successful iPad release to date. Apple sold 300,000 first-edition iPads on the first weekend of their release in 2010. Fast forward just two years, when surely everyone already has their hands on one of Apple’s oversized iPhones, and store queues stretch for blocks in every major city across America. Apple sold 10 times more iPad 3s than iPad 1s in the first weekend! That’s right, threemillion iPads at $499 per unit. Not bad for a weekend’s work!

Despite increased competition in personal computing and, more importantly, tablet PCs, Apple’s iPad continues to thrive. If their products’ never-ending popularity is anything to go by, Apple’s surging share price will likely continue in the same direction. The latest quarterly results reveal sales of 15.4 million iPads. In just one quarter!

What to do with all that spare cash?

A share buyback is definitely on the cards and reports are predicting $10 billion. This translates into a rising share price at a time when traders and investors thought it just couldn’t go any higher.

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Apple has captivated the globe as the technological innovator. They have perfected their market dominance and cornered the market in software and functionality, fashion (equally as important) and even battery life. Taking on Apple's dominant tablet market is a sure path to disappointment, and shareholders in Apple's competitors Samsung and the other soon-to-be-large-scale-tablet-maker, Microsoft, should be very worried indeed.

Apple has sold 55 million iPads and that number could double by the end of 2012. In the short-term, $600 remains the magic number for AAPL shares, despite several recent attempts at new highs.

Considering the momentum of earnings and the strong horizon for Apple and its array of market changing products, this high shouldn’t be much of a stumbling block as Apple continues to ripen into its most successful earnings year ever.

Let the good times roll!

Stay Ahead of The Game,

Lachlan McPherson