If you're looking for a cheap iPad, the only real option right now is the basic 10.2-inch-by-379 iPad, based on the old A10 processor; if you want more power, the next jump would be towards the iPad Mini, for 449. But the Mini's problem is that its 7.9 inches is too small for most users.
Therefore, right now you only have the option to save with a more limited tablet, or spend more and get a powerful tablet thanks to its A12 chip, but much smaller. It is not an easy decision.
At least it seems that Apple has realized this, because the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, famous for his predictions, has now advanced the future launch of two new models of cheap iPad, as pointed out in MacRumors.
Cheap but powerful iPads
The first model would be the update of the iPad Mini, which would increase its size to 8.5 or 9 inches. However, that does not have to translate into a larger tablet, and chances are that Apple has managed to reduce the edges of the screen to make it bigger. Thus, the 9-inch iPad Mini would be just as small and manageable than the current one.
The second model would be even more interesting: the renovation of the basic iPad, which will increase its size to 10.8 inches. Again, this would not affect the size of the device due to the reduced edges (which are especially noticeable on today's iPad).
But the really important thing is that both models will have the A12 Bionic processor; For the new iPad Mini there will be no difference, but for the basic iPad it will be a great leap in power.
The new basic iPad will arrive at the end of the year, while for the new iPad Mini we will have to wait for the first half of 2021.
Repeating the iPhone SE strategy
According to Kuo, Apple wants to repeat the strategy it followed with the new iPhone SE released this year; a very powerful model with the latest Apple processor, but which reuses the format and parts of older models to save on costs and achieve a competitive price. This is ideal for users who don't mind not having the latest, in order to enjoy a good experience.
Sales of the iPhone SE must be meeting expectations, because Apple would like to do the same with the iPad, offering a model that will not differ much aesthetically or functionally from the current one; but what to be so powerful like models that cost hundreds of euros more.
If Apple launches an iPad, with a price similar to the current basic model but with so much power, it could leave many Android tablets in the wrong place, in the same way that the iPhone SE has left the mid-range Android in evidence. However, it is very soon, since the price is not even known.