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Apple tablet profits could hit £309 per iPad

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iPad

Apple's iPad could cost the company as little as $229 (£147) to make. Not a bad margin, that, for a machine that will retail for $499 (£320).

That, at least, is what market watcher iSuppli estimates. It hasn't had its hands on one, of course, but iSuppli takes apart most if not all of the key mobile gadgets that go on sale, so it should have a good handle on what the iPad may contain.

The device's 9.7in, 1024 x 768 touchscreen is the priciest part - $80 (£51), iSuppli reckons - followed by the Flash storage ($29.50/£19), the battery ($17/£11) and the A4 processor (also $17).

Assembling it costs a further $10 (£6) to the overall materials cost of $219.35 (£141). The most expensive iPad, with 64GB of storage and 3G on board, costs $346.15 (£222) to make. It will retail for $829 (£531).

Apple executives recently said the company has room to lower the iPad's price if demand isn't as strong as interest in the media tablet suggests it might be. iSuppli's numbers show that the company does indeed have plenty of leeway.

Of course, iSuppli's estimates ignore marketing and other costs, such as distribution and dealer margin, but together these aren't going to dent Apple's iPad profit too far. ®

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