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Two new iPads coming January, iPad 2 to be cheap option

Apple is due to unveil two new iPads next month, a high- and mid-level model, with the current iPad 2 becoming the runt of the litter.

Here's an unexpected iPad rumour: Apple is prepping two new models of the tablet for release in January, according to Far East industry site Digitimes. One will be a high-end model with an 8-megapixel camera, the other a mid-range offering, making the iPad 2 the runt of the litter.

We know, the iPad 2 isn't exactly cheap, but presumably the price would come down to compete with cheaper Android tabs. And with Google's own on its way, there's no shortage of competition out there.

So what specs can we expect from these two new models of iPad? The high-end model will have a boosted 14,000mAH battery (up from 6,500mAH) according to the report, meaning it'll last much longer between charges. This could also make the device itself a little fatter, which would square with an earlier rumour.

The screens will stay at 9.7 inches, but will have a resolution of 2,048x1,536 pixels, along with dual-LED light bars to make them brighter. The high-end model will have an 8-megapixel snapper, while the mid-range will come with a 5-megapixel.

Sharp will make the screen, and Samsung and LG will contribute parts too.

Apple will make the unveil at iWorld (formerly MacWorld) in January, the report says. But seeing as Apple doesn't attend, we'll have to treat this as mere hearsay for now. Though a lot does agree with what we've heard previously, including the higher resolution screen (though there was also talk of a 7.85-inch iPad incoming at the same time).

And could we see the iPad 2 drop in price to compete with the Kindle Fire? Apple has brought down the price of its older products before, but it wouldn't make sense at that price -- Amazon takes a loss on hardware and makes up for it by selling films, movies and TV shows to enjoy on the device, whereas Apple's business model is based on making profit on hardware.

What do you think? And what would you want from an iPad 3? Let us know in the comments below, or over on our Facebook page.