A report on AppleInsider cites industries sources at last week's Consumer Electronics Show, stating that new iPads could arrive as soon as March.
Though a March launch would see them arrive just 5 months after the iPad 4 and iPad mini, that date isn't perhaps as far-fetched as it might first sound. The iPad 4 arrived just 7 months after the iPad 3, and Apple has historically released new iPads around the March/April timeframe.
The rumours suggest that the iPad 5 will see the most significant changes, with a new thinner and lighter chassis. The iPad mini 2 is said to have upgraded internal components for faster processing - the current model has virtually the same internal hardware as the ageing iPad 2 - but won't yet see a Retina display.
A new, faster release cycle could be Apple's strategy to compete with the flood of Android competitors now in the market.