Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associate Press
FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2010 file photo, the iPad is shown after it was unveiled at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

You might want to start standing in front of the nearest Apple store, because the newest iPad’s is almost here. With the coming of the new devices comes a forecast of the future of computing.

Apple’s event is scheduled to happen on Wednesday in San Francisco and is expected to feature the iPad 3. The company sent out an announcment that featured a photo of a person touching an iPad with the words: “We have something you really have to see. And touch.”

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, predicts that tablets will one day outsell personal computers, according to the New York Times. A growing number of analysts are also predicting a shift in the industry, based on growth rates of the iPad and competition from Amazon.com and Microsoft.

“From the first day it shipped, we thought — not just me, many of us thought at Apple — that the tablet market would become larger than the PC market, and it was just a matter of the time that it took for that to occur,” the Apple executive told the New York Times.

The iPad accounts for $9.15 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, or about 20 percent of the tech giant’s total revenue. The iPad brought in nearly 40 percent more revenue than Apple’s computer line, the Macintosh.

Tablets are growing at significant rates, but PCs are still at the top of the market.

PCs outsold tablets nearly six to one in 2011, according to the newspaper article. Though PCs outperformed tablets, the numbers are significantly lower than 2010’s when 20 PCs were sold for every one tablet.

The iPad is growing quickly, but it may not be able to keep up with the iPhone.

Apple posted a 128 percent increase in iPhone shipments in its most recent quarter, moving 37 million units, according to Daily Finance. The iPad generated slightly under, at a 111-percent increase in shipments in the same period.

Typically, older products have a harder time hitting higher growth rates over a newer product.

“While the iPad's growth rate may continue to lag behind the iPhone, investors can take some solace in knowing that it probably has a long way to go before it begins to suffer negative growth numbers, as the pioneering iPod now does,” Dawn Kawamoto, a writer for the Motley Fool, said in the article.

But that might change with the iPad 3.

A recent study from InMobi, an independent mobile ad network, shows that nearly 30 percent of mobile users plan on buying Apple’s new tablet, according to Mobile Tech News.

“Nearly one third of respondents are planning to buy the iPad 3, and 44 percent would only consider the iPad if purchasing a tablet,” Anne Frisbie, vice president and managing director for InMobi in North America, told Mobile Tech News. “Interestingly, 65 percent of those who intend to buy an iPad 3 would consider buying an iPad or iPad 2 at a reduced price instead, indicating that whether or not consumers purchase an iPad 3 versus an older model, the excitement around the iPad 3 release will likely increase iPad penetration in the tablet market.”

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