Will Apple's third-generation iPad come sooner than expected? DigiTimes has a double whammy of stories that suggest it could. In fact, according to the Taiwanese site, Apple has the launch scheduled for January 26.
We'll reportedly see two iPad 3 variants come out then, both sporting 9.7" high-density panels with 2048x1536 resolutions and quad-core Apple A6 processors. There's no word on what will differentiate the two models, but I'm betting one will have 3G connectivity and the other will not.
DigiTimes goes on to say Apple will cut the price of the iPad 2 to compete with the Kindle Fire (which, of course, sells for a scant $199). In a separate article, however, the same site quotes "sources from Apple's supply chain" who allege that iPad 2 orders are "dropping gradually." If the iPad 2 is to become a cheaper, higher-volume product in a matter of weeks, curbing production might not be the way to go.
There's always the possibility that the current-gen iPad won't become a permanent challenger to the Kindle Fire. That's what happened when the iPad 2 came out—the first-gen device came down in price before going out of stock. Provided Apple really does want to compete head-on with Amazon, I would put more stock in the rumors about that 7.85" iPad purportedly due out later in 2012.