iPad Air costs between $274 and $361 to build, IHS says

Even with Retina Display, the slate is cheaper to produce than previous models, meaning the company makes hundreds on each unit sold.

James Martin/CNET

Apple's iPad Air is making the company more cash with every unit it sells, according to new data from research firm IHS.

The iPad Air costs between $274 and $361 to build, depending on the model, according to IHS data that All Things Digital published Tuesday. Apple sells the iPad Air for between $499 and $929, meaning it makes hundreds of dollars on every unit it sells.

The tablet's display has proven to be a costly component, according to IHS. The researchers told All Things Digital that the screen costs $90, while the touch screen parts set Apple back $43. The display, in other words, takes up approximately half the cost of the cheapest iPad Air.

Beyond that, Apple was able to cut down on costs quite effectively. According to All Things Digital, IHS claimed the base iPad Air model is $42 cheaper to produce than the third-generation iPad base model. Apple was able to save that cash by not changing its tablet too dramatically, thus improving the deals it could ink with suppliers. The A7 chip, for example, costs Apple $18 -- $5 less than the A5 processor cost the company last year.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.


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