With all the rumors pointing to a nearly-$1,000 price point for the Apple tablet, Steve Jobs surprised onlookers last week when he revealed that the starting price for the iPad would be $499. Of course, in comparison to netbooks, $499 is still very expensive.
Granted, the iPad does come with an LCD display that surpasses the quality of many notebooks, let alone netbooks, but don't be fooled – Apple will still make a tidy sum from the iPad, according to analyst estimates.
According to Computerworld, Brian Marshall of BroadPoint AmTech estimates that the cost of goods inside a 16GB Wi-Fi-only iPad totals to $270.50. This would mean that Apple would make an estimated $208 on every 16GB iPad sold. Of course, the bill of materials does not include the R&D behind the iPad and other value-added services along the supply chain, but it does show that there will be money made at all levels.
Predictably, the most expensive component in the device is the 9.7-inch IPS panel, which costs an estimated $100. The rest of the components are considerably cheaper: 16GB of memory and the aluminum case cost about $25 each, while the Apple A4 chip was listed at $15.
Apple's profit margin on the iPad grows with the larger capacity models, with steeper premiums charged for the 32GB and 64GB models. Interestingly enough, Apple will charge an added $130 for the 3G-enabled versions of its iPad, but analysts guess that the added hardware will only jack up costs by $16.