More rumblings on the ground in the gadget space, which means one thing: there’s an Apple storm coming. It’ll get here next month. 

Barnes & Noble has cut prices on the Nook Tablet and the Nook Color, the Tablet dropping to $179 and the Color going for $149. Those are both $20 drops. Meanwhile the 16gb Nook Tablet drops from $249 all the way down to $199. These prices undercut some of the prices for Amazon’s Kindle Fire mini-tablet, maxi-reader. The Nook family has done pretty well in terms of sales, better than expected really, but when prices are similar to Kindle’s. a lot of people go with Amazon’s bigger name.

The real story here, however, is the guidance that this suggests for the price tag on the impending iPad Mini. Apple isn’t necessarily hung up on being the cheapest device in any market although with the volume Apple does, it can pay less from places like Foxconn for the assembled product because the components can be ordered in bulk.

So this action by B&N could be seen as undercutting Apple in advance or matching what the company expects the iPad Mini to be.

Follow John Moe at @johnmoe