The answer comes down to whether Apple wants to "crush the opposition" or just maintain dominance, said Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at IHS iSuppli. "And the price point would be how they do that," she said.
While a $299 price tag "would sit in a more comfortable place as far as a profit," Alexander believes Apple could go as low as $249 for an entry level model.
At the high end, $349 is price Alexander often hears. That model would come with 4G LTE.
Google is already anticipating the imminent arrival of the iPad Mini in the U.S. Ads for the $199 Nexus 7 tablet are everywhere these days, including Google's search page.
"The input I'm getting from the supply side is that [Google] has actually raised the quantity of orders being built this year," Alexander said. "We see it on the order of five to six million in 2012 or maybe even a little more than six million."
The Wi-Fi-only Nexus 7 is a tougher sell on international markets, particularly Asia, where 3G is necessary, according to Alexander. In contrast, a smaller, cheaper iPad with 3G/4G capability in Asia would be an extremely attractive product, she said.