For those anxious to own an iPad but put off somewhat by it’s sky-high price tag, your luck might well be in, because the rumor mill is currently in overdrive with the news that Apple is to release a smaller iPad in October starting at as little as $200.

There are only a few things you can purchase for less than that in an Apple Store, and besides an Apple TV box and some of the lower-end iPods, most of them are simply peripherals. Sources of iMore, however, have tipped the Apple-centric blog off about the upcoming release, which will drop alongside the next iPhone for a fraction of the price of both the smartphone and the fully-fledged Retina iPad, which released in mid-March.

Although, since the iPad is so dominant, one might wonder why Tim Cook’s company would bother releasing a cheaper, less-featured model to the consumer. The answer is simple – by dropping a device at such a minuscule price, it’s a dagger to the jugular of any other vendor brave enough to compete. The Nook, Kindle Fire, and Galaxy Tab have all tried and failed to to make much of an impact, but have still still sold reasonable numbers. By releasing a 7-inch, 200-250 buck tablet, Apple would, without a shadow of a doubt, rule the tablet market with a Stalin-esque iron fist.

In terms of form factor, the report suggests the smaller iPad will be a scaled down version of the main, 9.7-inch iPad, and if it maintains the 2048×1536 resolution the pixel density would weigh in at a pin-sharp 326 dpi, equaling the quality of the iPhone 4S.

ipad-mini

The low price points means we’re not to expect more than 8GB in capacity, which is comparable to the 8GB iPod touch, which also weighs in at $200. Apparently, the iPod touch will not be replaced by this smaller iPad – at least, not by Apple, although one suspects that after the consumer has spoken, the iPod touch will be a forgotten memory. The report suggests both will retail alongside each other, but I just cannot see a situation where a consumer will weigh up a 7-inch iPad versus an iPod touch and end up selecting the latter.

As far as the name goes, there’s no word, although I would throw a little more money behind iPad Nano than Mini, since Apple ditched the latter moniker some years ago.

Thoughts?

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