Despite the protests of Apple executives, most agree that Apple is planning to release the iPad Mini - and a new report claims it could arrive by year's end and for a surprisingly low price.

The New York Times joined the chorus of publications with sources revealing that Apple will introduce a 7.85-inch sequel to its popular iPad this fall.

But this latest report adds a far more fascinating angle to earlier reports, claiming the presumed "iPad mini" will be priced "significantly less" than the $499 base price of the larger model.

"It's only fitting that Apple would go this route," remarked Florence Ion, managing editor at Mac|Life, a publication focused exclusively on Apple products.

Nexus who?

Apple faces stiff competition in the seven-inch tablet space, with Amazon's Kindle Fire practically owning that size since its introduction last fall and Google's Nexus 7 now making its way into customer's hands.

Those diminutive tablets sell for $199 each, a price that's almost an impulse buy compared to the $499 entry level price of a 9.7-inch iPad.

"A seven-inch tablet would no doubt pulverize Google and Amazon's plans for tablet market penetration," Ion added.

Via: The Washington Post