Apple could expand its tablet PC line-up to three models in 2012, including a high-resolution third-generation model, according to an analyst.

 

Analyst Ben A Reitzes of Barclays Capital thinks that Apple will offer this new iPad 3 HD alongside a discounted iPad 2 as well as an updated version of the iPad 2, possibly called the iPad 2S, reports Apple Insider.

Reitzes said in a note to investors that he expected Apple to keep the iPad 2 alive even after next-generation models are announced, with a 16GB version sold as a budget option, much in the same way as the iPhone 3GS is still available.

Additionally, there could be a souped-up version of the iPad 2, perhaps called the iPad 2S, that might feature a more powerful processor and Siri integration, though would closely resemble its predecessor otherwise.

As well as this, Reitzes also thinks that Apple plans to release an iPad 3 in March 2012. This could have a high-definition, Retina display as well as a faster processor and Siri integration. Overall, he reckons Apple will sell 47.7 million iPads in 2012, though warned that his estimate for the current quarter - 13.9 million - might be over-optimistic.