Apple's iPad costs as little as $260 to build, but nearly half of that goes toward the 9.7-in. LCD touchscreen display, research firm iSuppli said today.
The new number is $31 higher than an earlier computer model-generated estimate by the company. The head of iSuppli's teardowns blamed the under-estimate -- iSuppli missed the mark by 12% -- on unexpected complexity and pricier parts.
According to El Segundo, Calif.-based iSuppli, best known for its electronics teardowns, the $499 16GB iPad contains $251 in parts and $9 in manufacturing costs, for a total of $260. Last February, iSuppli conducted a "virtual teardown" using a computer-generated model created to peg the parts costs of unreleased hardware. At the time, iSuppli touted the accuracy of the model, saying that it had come within 1%-2% of later teardowns of the real products. The firm estimated the $499 iPad's virtual bill of materials (BOM) at $219 in parts and $10 to manufacture for a total of $229.