Apple's new iPad tablet carries a hardware cost ranging from $229 to $346 (£146 to £221), according to a recent analyst estimate.
Research firm iSuppli posted the results of a teardown analysis on the hardware components of the device. Depending on features and capacity, the iPad costs $229.35 for the 16GB model without 3G, to $346.15 for the 3G-equipped 64GB model.
The touch-screen hardware is believed to be the most expensive component at $80 (£51). Second highest is the "electromechanical and mechanical" components, iSuppli said.
The processor in the device is an ARM A4 chip, the design of which was acquired when Apple purchased chip firm PA Semi in 2008. ISuppli suggested that the chip is manufactured by Samsung.
The iPad's Flash memory is the biggest variable in hardware costs among the different models. ISuppli estimated that the 16GB Flash chips cost $29.50 (£18.85), the 32GB $59 (£37.70) and the 64GB $118 (£75.40). The 3G and GPS hardware for the 3G-equipped models is believed to cost $27.10 (£17.30).
Based on the varying hardware and retail costs, iSuppli believes that the mid-range 3G-equipped 32GB models will bring the highest profits for Apple. The lowest profit was found in the basic 16GB model without 3G hardware.
"The 32GB versions of the iPad cost only $29.50 [£18.85] more to produce than the 16GB versions, but their retail pricing is $100 [£64] higher," said iSuppli principle analyst Dr Jagdish Rebello.
"This shows that Apple believes the highest volume opportunity for the iPad resides in the mid-range of the product line."
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