One of the surprising rumors to come out this week is one involving a possible future iteration of the iPad line — a 7-inch tablet currently dubbed as the iPad Mini. According to the scuttlebutt, the iPad Mini will be announced together with the iPhone 5 sometime in the fall. This has generated quite a bit of excitement among tablet-computing fans and could further intensify the tablet wars between iOS and Android devices. But would it make sense for Apple to release a product that would essentially go against their own 10-inch iPad?

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, in a report by PC World, expects that the ‘sales cannibalization’ will be very minimal:

“We would expect the cannibalization of the current iPad by the ‘iPad Mini’ to be relatively minor and potentially in a range of just 10-20 percent, while the market opportunity could eventually be larger for the ‘iPad Mini’ given the growth trends in developing countries.”

White believes that a 7-inch tablet would be a hit in developing countries like China and price conscious consumers who will find the rumored $250 price tag more appealing. It is also possible that “two-iPad families” may end up owning both versions, with the smaller version going to people, most likely children, who can handle a 7-inch tablet better than a 10-inch one.

“We would not be surprised if certain consumers end up owning both a regular-sized iPad and an ‘iPad Mini,’ swapping between the two devices for different occasions,” says White.

Ultimately, the iPad Mini’s main competitors will still be Android devices from Google and Amazon’s Kindle Fire which are currently retailing for less than $200. White believes though that Apple’s trademark better build and seemingly higher quality products will give consumers an “overall better experience than its competitors, as well as a robust ecosystem.”

Are you excited by the iPad Mini? Will you prefer this model to the 10-inch iPad? Discuss in the comments below!