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Apple tripling its iPad lineup in January? Not so fast

Reports that Apple plans to release two new iPad models to join the iPad 2 next month are receiving a lashing around the Web.

Stack of iPads are piled up at the San Francisco Apple Store at the iPad 2 launch earlier this year.
Stack of iPads are piled up at the San Francisco Apple Store at the iPad launch last year.
James Martin/CNET

A report claiming Apple will release two different iPad models next month is starting to look pretty shaky.

The original report from Taiwanese tech-news site DigiTimes--which already had a shaky reputation for accuracy--claimed that Apple was planning to unveil two new iPad models at next month's Macworld|iWorld conference in San Francisco, a show Apple hasn't keynoted since 2009.

That same report claimed Apple would continue to sell the iPad 2, stretching its lineup to three different models. Since the iPad's introduction in 2010, Apple has only offered a single version at a time.

"These rumors are completely false," The Loop's Jim Dalrymple, a well-sourced Apple commentator, wrote in a post this afternoon. "I checked with a number of my sources today and an iPad 3 is not planned for release at Macworld. In case you're wondering, an iPad 3 won't be released at CES either."

Dalrymple also rebuffs suggestions that an Apple-made TV set would be introduced at either show. Such a move would be a big surprise, given recent reports pegging any possible release of that unannounced product near the end of the year at the earliest.

Joining Dalrymple, Apple Insider said the DigiTimes report was "immediately questionable," with rival site Macrumors calling the Macworld portion of the report "harder-to-believe." Noted in both is that the DigiTimes story echoes claims made by tech site The Verge earlier this year, saying Apple was working on a high-end "HD" model that would be sold alongside the iPad 2, something that may still come to fruition.

What Apple adds to its third-generation tablet, and when it will be unveiled is of particular interest this time around. The product is one of the few that Apple has announced and launched following the holiday season--the iPad 2 went on sale in early March of this year, while the first iPad launched in April the year before.

Ahead of the DigiTimes report, a story out of Focus Taiwan last week claimed that Apple's release schedule could be crawling back a bit closer to the beginning of the year this time around, with suppliers clamoring to release a third-generation model near the end of February. This, the report said, was all to coincide with the birthday of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Apple declined to comment.