Industry analysts have praised the internal design of Apple's iPad in the first major 'teardown' report on the new device.
Research firm iSuppli said that the hardware components and manufacturing costs for each 16GB Wi-Fi iPad add up to $259.60 (£170) per unit. The costs for the 3G-enabled iPad, expected later this month, will be higher owing to the additional components.
The most expensive hardware in the iPad is the screen and touch-sensing interface, which iSuppli said costs $109.50 (£72), roughly 44 per cent of the total.
The casing is estimated to cost $32.50 (£21), the lithium ion battery $21 (£13.80) and the Nand Flash memory $29.50 (£19.40).
The 16GB Wi-Fi iPad currently retails for $499 (£329) in the US. An international release is tentatively scheduled for the end of April.
ISuppli claimed that the iPad delivers a "game changing" design in the way it is constructed.
"The iPad's design represents a new paradigm in terms of electronics cost structure and electronic content," said iSuppli principal analyst and teardown services manager Andrew Rassweiler.
The analyst explained that, rather than designing a motherboard system to power the device and adding peripherals such as touch screen or displays, Apple had used the screen and interface as the basis and tailored the computing components around them.
"Everything is 'human-machine-interface-centric', with the printed circuit board and integrated circuits all there to facilitate the display of content as well as user inputs," said Rassweiler.
Other analysts have been less enthusiastic about the iPad, warning business users to wait before adopting the system.
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