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iPad Mini costs at least $188 to build, teardown reveals

IHS analysis of Apple's new tablet offers an estimation on build costs and also reveals the identities of some component suppliers.

The iPad Mini.
Josh Miller/CNET

The iPad Mini has been in consumers' hands for only a few days, but we already have a better idea of what's in Apple's new tablet and how much it costs to make.

A teardown of the device conducted by IHS concluded that the base 16GB Wi-Fi model, which Apple sells for $329, costs about $188 to build, according to an All Things Digital report. The 32GB and 64GB models cost an additional $90 and $162 to build, respectively, the firm found.

In addition to the cost of materials, the teardown also revealed the identities of some of the device's component suppliers. LG Display and AU Optronics supplied the 7.9-inch touch-sensitive display components, which cost about $80, or about 43 percent of the device's total bill of materials.

Because Apple has tapped LGD and AUO instead of Samsung for its display panels, the market for panels is expected to be tight initially, said Richard Shim, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. The problem, he said, lies with AUO.

"The problem is that AUO is a new supplier, and they're not able to get to the volumes that Apple needs," Shim wrote in a blog post late last month. "So, essentially, there's just one supplier."

A teardown conducted by iFixit after the device went on sale Friday found that Samsung remains the manufacturer of Apple's A5 processor, despite the companies' acrimonious relationship. iFixit also confirmed that the new tablet sports stereo speakers.

IHS' teardown also revealed that South Korean chipmaker Hynix Semiconductor supplied the flash memory, while Japan's Elpida manufactured the system memory, which amounted to about $15.50 of the materials cost.

Cirrus Logic provided an audio chip, while STMicroelectronics manufactured the accelerometer, which senses physical position changes of the device. However, the identity of the camera manufacturer was not discernible.

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