“Apple faces a pricing quandary with its expected iPad Mini,” Patrick Seitz writes for Investor’s Business Daily.

“The new tablet needs to be competitive with low-cost alternatives from Amazon.com and Google, yet also fit into the pricing scheme Apple has established for its regular-sized iPads and its iPod Touch handhelds,” Seitz writes.

MacDailyNews Take: An “iPad mini” should cost more than a tiny screen (7.0-inch) Amazon or Google tablet because it’s worth more.

Seitz writes, “Analysts had speculated that the iPad Mini, which is predicted to have a 7.85-inch display, would retail starting at $299 or less. But that was before Apple on Sept. 12 launched its fifth-generation iPod Touch, which sports a 4-inch display, starting at $299.””

“‘The pricing of the iPod Touch may actually give us a hint of where they’re going to price the (iPad) Mini,’ said Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu. “‘It’s a low likelihood that they will price the Mini on par with the Touch or even at a discount. You can forget about a discount. So we’re probably looking at a price above $299.’ Wu’s prediction: $349,” Seitz writes. “Apple’s current model tablets, which have 9.7-inch displays, start at $399 with the iPad 2. The company’s newer, third-generation iPad starts at $499.”

Read more in the full article here.