Apple’s next low-cost iPad will likely run on the premium A12 chip

Apple is expected to soon refresh its entry-level iPad model and this time, it won’t cut any corners in performance. As per an anonymous Twitter account with a proven track record, the next low-cost iPad will be powered by Apple’s premium A12 chip.

In comparison, Apple’s existing base seventh-generation iPad was launched in September last year and runs on a nearly four-year-old processor. Therefore, the A12 upgrade could offer a significant leap especially for resource-intensive tasks such as Augmented Reality applications and games, two areas on which Apple has been focusing quite a lot of late.

On Thursday, renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a research note, said Apple is developing two new iPad models with an affordable price tag — a 10.8-inch ‌iPad‌ and an 8.5 to 9-inch ‌iPad‌ mini. Kuo added that these new products will “follow iPhone SE’s product strategy.”

Therefore, it makes sense that, as it did with the new iPhone SE, Apple would pick its latest chipset for an updated low-cost iPad. This move will enable the base iPad to have a practically unprecedented edge over its competitors’ performance and longevity, which are key weaknesses for many.

In addition, since the entry-level iPad now also supports Apple’s keyboard and pen accessories, the presence of a no-compromise chipset could also enable the company to pitch it as a computer replacement for customers on a budget and rival Microsoft’s latest Surface Go 2.

At this stage, it’s unclear which A12 version the 2020 iPad will feature. The new iPad Pro comes equipped with an updated A12Z Bionic chip, a GPU-focused step up from the A12X that powers the 2018 iPad Pro tablets.

However, it’s worth noting Kuo hasn’t confirmed whether he’s referring to the base iPad. The existing $329 iPad has a 10.2-inch screen. So if Kuo predictions fall in line with this new leak, that would mean Apple will be fitting a larger display as well. We don’t know whether it will feature Apple’s rumored new mini-LED technology.

Kuo claims the 10.8-inch iPad could land sometime in the second half of 2020, while the new iPad Mini is slated to arrive in the first half of 2021.

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