First iPad Cost Estimate: $270 To Build The Cheapest One

steve jobs iPad prices AP

The iPad has barely seen the light of day, but Broadpoint AmTech’s Brian Marshall already has an estimate on cost.

Brian thinks the low-end $499 iPad costs $270 in materials and manufacturing.

Via Hardware Central, here’s his break down. Treat these as very rough guesstimates:

Marshall concluded the most expensive piece in the iPad’s bill of materials (BOM) is the 9.7-inch touch-sensitive display, which he put at $100. Apple’s most profitable item, meanwhile, is the 3G radio: Models carrying the unit cost $130 more than those without, while it only costs the company $16.

The total BOM for the 16GB WiFi-only iPad is $270.50, plus a $10 line item dedicated to manufacturing and another $20 set aside for warranty service costs. The 16GB of memory and the aluminium case are estimated to cost about $25 each, while the Apple A4 processor chip is put at $15.

Profitability appears to scale up as the lineup increases in capacity, since the 32GB and 64GB iPads only see their costs rise another $25.50 and $76.50, respectively, but their suggested prices go up $100 and $200.

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