iPad hardware weighs in at $259, say analysts

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Analyst's teardown lauds "game changing" design

Industry analysts praised the internal design of Apple's iPad in the first major "teardown" reports on the device.

Research firm iSuppli took the iPad apart and found the hardware components and manufacturing costs for each 16GB Wi-Fi iPad added up to around $259.60 per unit. The cost for the 3G-enabled iPad, expected to be released later this month, would be higher due to the additional components.

The most expensive hardware on the iPad is the display. The company estimated that the screen and touch-sensing hard interface for the device costs come $109.50, roughly 44 per cent of the total cost of the device.

Meanwhile the casing for the iPad was estimated to cost $32.50, while the lithium ion battery was pegged at $21. The NAND flash memory for the iPad was also cited as major portion of the costs with its estimated $29.50 price tag.

The 16GB Wi-Fi iPad currently retails for $499 in the US. International release is tentatively scheduled for the end of April.

The firm said that the Apple tablet delivered a "game changing" design in the way it was constructed.

"The iPad’s design represents a new paradigm in terms of electronics cost structure and electronic content,"
said iSuppli principal analyst and teardown services manager Andrew Rassweiler.

The analyst explained that rather than start by designing a motherboard system to power the device and adding on peripherals such as touch screen or displays, the company used the screen and interface as the basis for the design and tailored the computing components to work with those systems.

"Everything is human-machine-interface-centric, with the printed circuit board and integrated circuits all there to facilitate the display of content as well as user inputs,"
he said.



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