The iPad Mini is coming, that much is almost certain. What we don't know is how much it will cost and how well it can compete with the 7-inch Android
crowd that consists primarily of the Kindle Fire (Google) and Nexus 7 (Google). In the absence of that information, we're left to speculate on both accounts, which is what one analyst recently did.
How low Apple
goes depends on how motivated the company is to "crush the competition," IHS iSuppli analyst Rhoda Alexander told CNet. According to Alexander, Apple could go swing as low as $249 for an entry-level iPad Mini device, and at that price point, the company would make it awfully tough on the competition. On the other side of the pricing spectrum, the iPad Mini could debut for as much as $349, which would probably come with a 4G LTE radio.
The Kindle Fire, before it sold out, carried a $199 price tag, while the Nexus 7 sells for $199 (16GB) and $249 (32GB). Alexander's analysis must figure that at the same or similar price points, most people would choose Apple/iOS over Android. Looking at market share numbers, that's been true in the 10-inch tablet market, but whether that translates to the 7-inch sector is something we'll have to wait and see.
Apple is expected to announce the iPad Mini later this year, after it unveils the iPhone 5.