I agree this is an execution problem. The A6X and maybe some other things were not ready in time to release 6 months ago so they hobbled together the new ipad. The new new ipad is what they really wanted to release. Either way this is old news. They need something very new. Maybe the google glasses will be something revolutionary (i don't know) but the smart phone tablet thing has run it's course and all products are just incremental updates.
iOS6 is the better platform with more apps and a better ecosystem. Android is a ripoff of Linux which is a ripoff of BSD Unix. OEMs using Andriod are reliant on Google (a competitor). Apple has many ways to innovate.
But...they have to stop relying on Asian manufacturing and suppliers. Samsung is ripping off their designs because they have access to the internals of the processors. The Chinese are cloning the phones because of access to the manufacturing plans.
If it wasn't for this IP theft, Apples revenues would be double what they are. Time to reconsider outsourcing, Tim Cook.
The A6X uses Samsung 32 nm HKMG process ( not 28 nm which Samsung does not have and a node that TSMC is still struggling to get up to HVM ) that became available only around 2Q12. But Doug S's comments on iPad3 ( with a A5X built by Samsung's older leaky i,e. non HKMG & larger 45 nm CMOS ) are well taken.
I don't think Apple is changing their iPad release pace. This is just a one-off to fix the issues they had with 3rd generation iPad requiring a much larger battery and therefore being thicker and heavier. The one just released is the one they wanted to release last spring but the 28nm process wasn't ready yet.
@Sylvie, greedy perhaps, distracted for sure. Over the years, when Apple is at its best it's focused. Too many models, means distraction and chasing low-end business. That seems to be a death spiral for sure.
You have sub-$90 Kindles and tablets selling for $30 in India. If the primary purpose of a mini is as a single-handed reader, the industry's been there done that. I'd focus more on evolving Apple TV, frankly. That's an evolving space and one that has a natural synergy with Mac laptops and iPads.