On Amazon’s (AMZN) earnings call, CFO Tom Szkutak said the cost to manufacture its Kindle e-book reader is “significantly higher” than the $185 that research firm iSuppli estimated recently, according to emails from readers.
We weren’t on the call, so we can’t tell the nuance of the question or answer, but that seems obvious: iSuppli does not claim to estimate manufacturing, marketing, shipping, or other costs — only component costs. So of course the all-in cost is more than $185. It’s also very possible the components themselves cost more than $185, too — iSuppli estimates are not gospel.
Either way, Amazon wouldn’t comment on exactly how much the Kindle costs or how many it’s sold. (TechCrunch reported that Amazon had sold 300,000 Kindle 2s already.) The hope is that it’d be cheaper so that Amazon could sell more of them.