Apple could be preparing to release two new iPads this year. The iPad 3 may be unveiled in March and a secondary tablet, dubbed the iPad 4, could arrive in October, according to Taiwan component makers via DigiTimes.
Update: In addition to the information divulged earlier by DigiTimes, 9to5mac has found references about quad-core processing in iOS 5.1 which is currently in beta. This upcoming OS update from Apple is supposed to be paired with a next-generation iPad 3 and potentially the iPhone 5.
The iPad 3 is expected to ship with a QXGA (2084 x 1536 pixels) display and improved battery life but other than these two enhancements, we are told not to expect much more from the tablet. Previous rumors had pointed to two iPad 3 models, a mid-range and high-end product, being unveiled at iWorld on January 26.
The latest speculation indicates that the iPad 2 will receive a price cut to $399 with the introduction of the iPad 3. The lower price would allow Apple to compete with other vendors such as Sony, Motorola and Samsung that offer tablets at a lower price point.
Sources expect the real battle for market share to take place in the second half of 2012 when Apple ships their iPad 4. This would be around the same time that Microsoft releases Windows 8 and Intel introduces its Clover Trail-W platform. These sources suggest that the iPad 4 would feature the same 9.7-inch display as the iPad 3 but would include upgraded hardware specifications and new applications. This could perhaps include the Samsung-manufactured quad-core A6 processor that has been rumored to be the successor to the dual-core A5 SoC.
DigiTimes has a mixed track record, especially when it comes to Apple rumors. As such, we suggest you take this latest dose with a grain of salt.