Apple has never been the type of company to shy away from a fight, and the latest rumors surrounding the possible release of the iPad Mini claim they’re ready to take on their competitors with renewed intensity. The 7″ iPad apparently won’t just be coming to stores as soon as October, but will be priced at just $200.

The rumors come courtesy of iMore, who claims to have sources close to development on both the release date and price point. The information may be somewhat of a surprise, but perhaps it shouldn’t be.

The existence of the iPad Mini has been reported for some time, and development on both the iPhone 5 and the next, inevitable Apple i-device can always be assumed to be taking place within the company’s labs. While some initially scoffed at the concept of a 7.85″ version of the iPad as superfluous and unnecessary, the fact remains that the portable tablet is a market in which Apple‘s competition is finding some success. So how can Apple not be proactive in the situation?

The reported price tag of $200-250 may seem a bit absurd for any new Apple-brandished gadget, the move would be aggressive, to say the least. If the 7″-tablet market is being ruled by Android and opposing manufacturers there is a chance, however slight, that momentum could be gained. If Apple was to produce a version of the iPad the same size, to the same resolution as the iPad, and priced even lower than other devices, the success could be overwhelming.

Samsung Galaxy Tablet

Apple would be selling the iPad Mini at a loss, sure, but sacrificing some revenue to guarantee the market share in the long term could be worth it. The company isn’t exactly hurting for income anyway, and having a massive influx of iOS purchasers couldn’t hurt either. However, several assumptions are being made in this kind of decision-making. First and foremost: what if tablet owners don’t care for Apple products?

The criticism first raised of any possible ‘iPad Mini’ is the need for it at all, with an iPod Touch offering most of the features in a smaller package, or a full-blown iPad in a slightly larger one. A 7.85″ iPad would be directly competing with other tablet-makers, but to assume that those companies are finding success due only to Apple’s absence is a bit foolish.

There’s no doubt that the iPad Mini will sell – the Apple faithful have proven that time and again – but is it really good business practice to create a brand new device just to push out the competition? That’s opening up a can of worms itself, so we’ll cross that bridge should we ever get to it. But if Apple’s actual plan is to sell a product to people who already passed on two Apple devices, this decision could go either way.

The iPad Mini could arrive as early as October 2012, but we’d love to hear your thoughts on Apple’s possible strategy.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: iMore

tags: Apple, iPad