Unless, of course, Apple switches to Amazon's 'razor and blades' model and starts selling on price. It could do this due to its lock-in on apps, movies and books (none of which can be used on another company's devices). But I think that is highly unlikely as they'd be losing revenue overall by cutting down on sales of the regular iPad. Far more likely is a $350 price point so Apple can include their markup.
That kind of makes the iPad Mini sound like a reaction-ist move from Apple, which is largely regarded as a leader in this space rather than a follower. If so... interesting.
It just doesn't make sense for Apple. The $250 price point really pollutes their offerings, because it overlaps the pricerange for a brand new iPod Touch. Given that they're both non-phone iOS devices, the only products that Apple can cut into is their own sales. Also, Kindle Fire sales have cooled pretty considerably lately, which is making me suspect that there really isn't that much of a market for the smaller form factor tablet. That's a shame, because I really do like my Fire's form factor, and consider the iPad to be a bit too big and unwieldy.
the only way this makes any sense to me at all is if apple decided to sell a sorts of ePad and sell to institutions only.
bottom line: if an Apple rumor isn't on Daring Fireball, there's no point even paying attention to it at all.