The newest iPod Touch was announced at the iPhone 5 media event, and because the basic model has a price tag of $299, many have assumed this creates some type of minimum price tag for the long-rumored iPad Mini.
Not so fast.
Let's not forget that the iPod Touch and the iPad Mini are two different devices with two different target audiences. While an iPad Mini will be smaller than a full-sized iPad, perhaps even fitting neatly into a woman's purse, it's not something you are going to slip into the pocket of your jeans. Certainly, you won't take it with you jogging, and probably won't take it with you to the gym.
And the apples-to-oranges comparison doesn't stop with the target audience. The lowest end iPod Touch sports 32 GB of storage. The difference in price between 16 GB and 32 GB models is usually $100, so a hypothetical iPod Touch with 16 GB of storage would only cost $199. This means an iPad Mini with 16 GB of storage debuting for $249 would actually be more expensive than an equivalent iPod Touch.
Does this mean the iPad Mini will debut for $249?
It's tough to second guess Apple. One of the big "wow" moments of the original iPad's announcement was the revelation that it would only cost $499, a price point that competitors have found difficult to compete against in the 10-inch tablet market. And while Apple will not feel compelled to match the price of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD or Google Nexus 7, they also won't shy away from pricing the new tablet competitively.
Priced at $299, the iPad Mini could steal most of the thunder from the $199 tablets. An 8 GB iPad Mini priced at $249 could all but destroy the competition. And while I expect the iPad Mini to debut at the $299 price point rather than sport a $199 or $249 price tag, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple dazzles us with a lower-than-expected price.