The highly anticipated next generation iPad will come sooner than expected - in late January 2012, according to the latest rumor. And, hold your breath, Apple will launch not only one, but two new iPad models, which will target both mid- range and high-end market segments.

Taiwan-based DigiTimes, citing unnamed supply chain partners as its sources, reported that the two iPad versions will launch at the Macworld/iWorld event on Jan. 26.

After the release of the new iPad, the current iPad 2 will focus on competing with Amazon Kindle Fire and cover the entry-level market segment, DigiTimes said. It means the price of iPad 2 will be lowered.

The features of the two brand new iPads are the biggest concerns of Apple fans. According to the report, the forthcoming models will have 9.7-inch screens, rather than the previously-rumored 7.85-inch display. And both of them will reportedly boast of QXGA resolution (1,536x2,048 pixels) and will be powered by quad-core A6 processor. Dual-LED light bars will also increase the display brightness of the next generation iPad. The only difference between the two iPads is that one will have 8-MP CMOS image sensor while the other will feature a 5-MP.

However, not all agree with DigiTimes' report. Gigaom  said it is unlikely that Apple will concern so much about improving the new iPad's camera as tablet users seldom take photos or videos with their device. And, it is likely that most iPad owners will also have smartphones with them, and most, if not all, smartphones these days boast of anything between 5-MP and 8-MP cameras.

Venture Beat  was also skeptical about DigiTimes' report and pointed out that it is unlikely that Apple will participate in Macworld/iWorld in early 2012, because the Cupertino-based company had dropped out of the event for several years. Apple has been conducting its own press events for the past several years and, as they have been receiving overwhelming response from the media and fans, the Jan. conference seems unlikely.