When Microsoft announced the pricings of its Surface RT tablets, some were content, but there were also a few that was disappointed that the Surface tablets weren’t a bit cheaper.  If you skimped out on the Surface, and are willing to explore iOS, then perhaps the rumored price of the iPad mini may catch your eyes.

Although the rumored prices of the iPad mini may not be as much as “bargain” as some would think, but it’s definitely a bit cheaper than Microsoft’s Windows 8 RT slates.  9to5mac reported that the 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad mini will cost around $329, the 32GB model will cost $429, and the 64GB will run for a cool $529.

Looking at the iPad mini’s pricings, we can see that the 32GB model ($429) is only slightly less expensive than the 32GB Surface RT tablet ($499).

Previously, some analysts thought that the base model iPad mini could go for as low as $250-$299, but as the new reports are rolling in, that won’t be the case.  Many are speculating that Apple wants to dominate the tablet market completely, and that the iPad mini is meant to compete with budget tablets like Amazon’s Kindle and Google’s Nexus 7. 

Google’s 8GB Nexus 7 is currently being sold for $200, and although it offers only half the internal storage of the 16GB iPad mini, the 8GB Nexus 7 is more of a “bargain” than the 16GB iPad mini.  Amazon’s 16GB Kindle Fire HD ($199) is being sold for no profit according to its CEO, Jeff Bezos.

Apple’s business model is selling hardware for a profit, and investing in its software to maintain customer loyalty.  Amazon and Google, on the other hand, are making tablets and selling them for almost no profit at all, and instead profitting from selling digital goods (i.e. apps, games, music, videos) through their respective marketplaces.

The initial investment might be the biggest drawback when it comes to selecting an Apple tablet, but despite the premium price tags on most Apple products, the Cupertino-based company is still dominating the tablet market by a mile.