The Apple rumor mill started buzzing again but this time talks are that the iPhone maker is looking to bring some stiff competition to Amazon Kindle Fire with a low-cost device allegedly to be called iPad mini.

Amazon recently announced its cheap Kindle Fire, which is going for $199. However, Analyst Brian White who is with Ticonderoga Securities has reportedly been touring China and Taiwan, meeting with component suppliers and has heard that a so-called iPad mini could be arriving next year, according to Apple Insider.

White told Apple Insider that the mini doesn't necessarily mean that the device will be smaller in size. Instead, it is in reference to the lower entry-level price the device will be sold for. White expects that the device will be available in early 2012.

We believe this lower priced iPad could be priced in the mid-to-high-$200 range, White wrote in a note to investors, as reported by Apple Insider. We expect this will be followed by a much more powerful, feature rich standard-priced iPad 3 in (the second quarter of 2012).

White said Apple may be wants to address the lower-end market by building a cheaper device instead of a smaller one, adding that a low-cost iPad could attract big sales in China and other developing nations, according to Apple Insider.