iPad teardown: Apple makes at least $208 on each unit

Robert Clark
02 Feb 2010

Apple is set to make at least $208 on each new iPad sold, according to a teardown of the new tablet device.

An analysis by US investment firm BroadPoint AmTech estimates that the entry-level $499 model would generate a $208 margin, while the high-end $829 model would earn $446 per unit.

The teardown is based on the going rate for component parts, manufacturing cost and built-in warranty repair costs, Computerworldsaid

The 16GB Wi-Fi iPad would cost around $270.50 to manufacture, plus $20 for warranty costs for a total of $290.50, BroadPoint AmTech said. The most expensive component is the 9.7-inch touchscreen display, which costs around $100. The 16GB of memory and the aluminum case cost about $25 each, while the Apple A4 chip was listed at $15.

Apple’s in-house A4 chips cost around $15 per unit. With a cost of $290.50 and a selling price of $499, Apple’s profit margin will be 42.9% on each sale of the low-end device. On other models, that margin ranges from 48% to 55.1%, giving the iPad line as a whole a margin of around 50%.

An iPad that can connect to the Internet via 3G data network is even more profitable, Computerworld said. Apple adds a $130 surcharge for those tablets but with a very small hardware cost.

The $629 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G costs Apple $306.50, just $16 more than the Wi-Fi-only model, giving the company a profit margin of 52%, a jump of nine percentage points.

“High profit margins are standard for Apple, which earlier in the week boasted that its corporate margin for 2009's final quarter was 40.1%,” the magazine said, noting that the margin on the iPhone 3GS was 60% - higher than the estimated iPad profit margin.

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