iPads Cost Apple as Little as $230 to Build

The iPad is the talk of the tech world right now, and with the attention comes the inevitable scrutiny. People want to know every detail of the tablet, from the way it works, to how it was manufactured. And how much it costs to make.

Market analysts iSuppli have taken the iPad apart and itemized the inner workings, from the cost of the screen, to the components used in the construction. Based on existing market prices, they priced each piece out and came up with a manufacturing cost for each of the three iPads released. The numbers may not be exact to the penny, but they are within a very small margin of error.

The Pricing breakdowns are as follows:

The 16GBmodel (retail $499) costs $229.35 per unit, the 32GB (retail $599) costs $258.85, and the 64GB (retail $699) costs $317.85. Each of the three upcoming 3G models run around $30 more per unit. To break it down further, each recently released unit is a profit of $269.65, $340.15, and $381.15 respectively.

That means that averaging the lowest profit margins of the three iPads released this week, multiplied by the 300,000 units sold, Apple netted over $80 million in profit. Of course that doesn’t factor in the harder to determine intangible costs such as manpower, shipping, advertising, R&D, and software license fees to name a few.

The most expensive single piece is the display and touchscreen , costing each unit $80 a piece, while the actual manufacturing costs are listed between $10 and $12.

Although these prices are estimates based on existing market prices, as well as the best guesses on where and how each piece was made, one thing seems certain: It is a going to be a good year for Apple.

(Image: iSuppli)

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