The new 16GB iPad, which is selling in the US for $499, costs just $259.60 (€194.66) to make, according to iSuppli.
The research firm said the much-hyped tablet device has already “changed the game of how many electronic products are - and will be – designed.”
With more than 40% of its bill of materials (BOM) dedicated to the display, touch screen and other user interface components, the iPad is a radical departure in electronic design, iSuppli said.
Andrew Rassweiler, director and principal analyst, said conventional notebooks are “motherboard-centric”, with all other functions, such as the display and keyboard, peripheral to the central microprocessor and the main PCB.
“With the iPad, this is reversed. Everything is human-machine-interface-centric, with the PCB and integrated circuits (ICs) all there to facilitate the display of content as well as user inputs,” he said.
iSuppli estimated that the BOM of the 16GB, Wi-Fi only iPad at $250.60. When manufacturing expenses are added, the cost rises to $259.60.
The costs of user interface-related components in the iPad amounts to $109.50, representing 43.7% of total BOM.
The single most expensive component in the iPad is the display, priced at $65 and representing 25.9% of the BOM. The display uses in-plane switching (IPS) technology, which supports a wider viewing angle and better picture quality.
The next most expensive component is the touchscreen assembly, which cost $30, followed by the NAND-type flash memory, which cost $29.50.