Apple seems to have painted itself into a corner with its pricing on alternative products, such as the iPod touch. The brand-new fifth generation 4-inch iPod touch starts at $299, and it would seem, C|Net believes, that the iPod touch price point means that the iPad mini couldn't be priced lower than $349.
It makes sense. How could you charge less ... or even the same amount ... for a device that's considerably larger and more powerful? To be honest, we can think of a couple of ways, but whether or not Apple would go those routes.
For one, the entry-level iPod touch starts with 32GB of storage. If Apple shipped a 16GB entry-level iPad mini, a $299 price could fit. It's already rumored that the iPad mini will have a non-retina display, which would reduce cost.
One could also look at it slightly differently. While the fifth-generation iPod touch will start at $299 with 32GB of storage, the fourth-generation iPod touch continues to be sold. It comes with either 16GB for $199 or 32GB for $249.
The iPad mini could slot in between those two different device lines, the fourth- and fifth-generation iPod touches, at $249.
You can bet that Android tablet makers are hoping that the price point will be $349 rather than $249. Apple has a history of surprising folks, though.