While Amazon’s Kindle Fire has yet to be put to the test (its release is on the 15th of November), it has done rather well for itself in terms of pre-order sales, with reports last week that it managed to hit the 250,000 mark (we expect it’s probably more now). Without doubt its attractive price of $199 probably accounts for the widespread adoption, and if the rumors are to be believed, Apple could be getting a little worried and may be putting out something similar in the future.

According to Brian White, an analyst from Ticonderoga Securities, while touring China and meeting component suppliers, he has heard faint rumblings of an “iPad mini”. While the “mini” name does seem to imply a smaller iPad, it’s actually used to signify a cheaper iPad that will be Apple’s attempt at attracting more customers withs lower entry-level price.

According to a note written to investors, White stated that this “iPad mini” will arriving in the early months of 2012 and will be priced at the mid-high $200 range. This is expected to precede the iPad 3, which he claims will arrive in Q2 of the 2012.

This smells a bit like the rumors of a new, and cheaper iPhone 4S that were circulating several months back prior to the announcement of the iPhone 4S. Those rumors obviously didn’t exactly pan out since Apple just ended up offering an 8GB version of the iPhone 4. Once again, with all rumors, especially Apple rumors, it’s best taken with a grain of salt.

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