BobbyeM71hxwiPad costs $229 to produce, says iSuppli

The forthcoming iPad tablet computer of Apple Inc, it will cost as little as $229.35 for the company to produce, according to an estimate on Wednesday from research house iSuppli

The group conducted what it called a “virtual teardown” of the iPad, since the device is not yet available and component suppliers have not been announced.

Apple’s iPad that resembles a large iPhone and uses the same operating system will go on sale as early as next month, as the company looks to define a new category of mobile devices.

For the $499 iPad — the lowest-cost model, which features 16 gigabytes of flash memory — iSuppli estimated the total materials cost at $219.35, with a $10 manufacturing cost.

The priciest iPad will cost around $335 to produce, while the mid-range model will cost roughly $287, according to the group.

In the iPad, the most expensive component is the 9.7-inch display and touchscreen, at an estimated cost of $80, according to the estimate.

Analysts expect Apple to ship somewhere between 2 million and 5 million iPad units in the first year.

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