Every time a new Apple device comes out, there’s a general commotion as analysts try to break it down atomically into its base elements, weigh the dust and figure out how much it all cost Apple to build, thus extrapolating how many oodles of money Cupertino’s raking in with each gadget sold.
For the new iPad, the initial estimates are in, and surprise! Despite improving the iPad’s battery, display, wireless internet speeds and GPU, Cupertino’s making a healthy profit on each iPad sold.
The initial analysis comes by way of UBM TechInsights, who believe that a 16GB iPad LTE costs Apple just $310 in raw components, equaling a $319 margin on each iPad sold.
In other words, Apple’s building 16GB iPad LTEs for less than half of what they are selling them for. That’s pretty good, but Apple’s still making less on each new iPad than they were on the iPad 2, which net them a 56% margin on each unit sold when it was first released back in March 2011.
So where’s all of the cost of each iPad going? The new Retina display is the biggest burden against Apple’s bottom line, costing $70 per panel, compared to the iPad 2’s $49.50 display. And the universal Qualcomm LTE/3G chipset probably costs $21, more than twice what the 3G chip in the iPad 2 cost. Finally, the A5X costs $28 compared to the $22 an A5 cost.
Of course, none of these builds costs account for marketing, shipping, manufacturing and other assorted costs. But if there’s one thing Apple’s good at besides designing products, it’s making money. You can bet that Apple is making a healthy profit on each new iPad sold already… and that per-unit profit’s only going to get more amazing as the year goes on.