The new iPad has been unveiled. But you already know that. It doesn’t have a built-in USB, it doesn’t have better screen resolution; but it’s smaller and faster, and probably won’t be more expensive than the first version.

It doesn’t feel like the iPad has been around very long at all, but many Apple diehards will already be stowing their redundant hardware in their closet, and shining up their new toy. But why does Apple update their wares so frequently? Principal analyst for Ovum Adam Leach says it’s because they have to; the competition is catching up.

“In such a fast moving market, Apple is forced to release new versions of its hardware to stay ahead,” each says. “Apple clearly had first mover advantage, however, its competitors have been hot on its heals with a slew of tablet devices from big brand vendors such as Samsung, Motorola, HP, HTC and RIM, all of which have announced tablet devices which aim to replicate the Apple experience, which is notoriously difficult to match.”

As per Ovum’s predictions previously reported by Marketing magazine, Leach is still confident Apple’s days as market leader are numbered.

“A majority of device vendors are looking to exploit Google's latest version of the Android operating system, Honeycomb, to deliver a user experience that can compete with Apple's own iOS,” Leach says. “However, devices based on Google’s platforms will only overtake those based on Apple’s platform by 2015, when we forecast 36% and 35% market shares respectively, of a total market with shipments of approximately 150m units in 2015. This compares with Ovum’s estimate of 10% for Google and 90% for Apple at the end of 2010.”