The iPad has been rather hard done by in the court of public opinion recently. A few quarters of falling sales and market share have been allowed to obliterate the achievement of selling hundreds of millions of tablets into a market that practically didn't exist before it arrived.
Things being what they are, and expectations of Apple products being so high, that in some quarters the forthcoming update - whenever it arrives - is being seen as a key moment in the stewardship of the company by Tim Cook. Has Apple broken the tablet market, or has the tablet market broken Apple?
Its an absurd thought, which directly mirrors the pernicious commentary that preceded the arrival of the iPhone 6 last year. It's likely that Apple's next iPads will be slimmer and lighter than the current versions. It's likely that Apple will add a larger iPad 'Pro' to its range, one that will borrow features from Samsung or Microsoft, yet acknowledge neither.
The tablet market was born and matured in an incredibly short time. Its unlikely to disappear again, just as its unlikely to boom as it did before. For Apple the question is how much of the market can it win? A combination of the rumoured new larger iPad and the features and requirements of iOS 9, which will arrive contemporaneously, should be enough to give Apple all the short term boost it needs.
Success for Apple is a tablet that sells at a high profit margin, in sufficient numbers and maintains its premium brand position. And that's what the current iPad does, I have no doubts that the next iPad will do it even better.