iPad hardware weighs in at $280

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iPad hardware weighs in at $280

Analyst's teardown lauds "game changing" design.

An industry analyst has praised the internal design of Apple's iPad in the first major "teardown" reports on the device.

Research firm iSuppli took the iPad apart and found the hardware components and manufacturing costs for each 16GB Wi-Fi iPad was about US$259.60 ($280.08).

The cost for the 3G-enabled iPad, expected to be released later this month, would be higher due to the additional components.

The most expensive hardware on the iPad is its display. The researcher estimated that the screen and touch-sensing hard interface for the device was US$109.50, roughly 44 percent of the cost of the device.

Its case was about US$32.50 and the lithium ion battery was US$21.

The iPad's NAND flash memory was a big contributor to its price at US$29.50.

The 16GB Wi-Fi iPad retailed for US$499 in the US. International release was tentatively scheduled for the end of the month.

The firm said that the Apple tablet delivered a "game changing" design in how it was built.

"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.

He said that rather than start by designing a motherboard to power the device and adding peripherals such as a touch screen or displays, the company used the screen and interface as the basis for the design and tailored the computing components to work with those systems.

"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," he said.

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