Apple iPad Air material cost lower than earlier versions: IHS

Apple iPad Air material cost is lower than earlier versions, according to IHS.

The device major has cut the component cost and the new model carries a lower bill of materials (BOM) than the third-generation iPad introduced last year.

iPad Air with 16 GB of NAND flash memory and cellular connectivity has a BOM of $304, a 6 percent reduction from $325 for 16 GB third-generation iPad.

When the $6 manufacturing cost of the iPad Air is added in, the total cost to make the tablet increases to $310.

iPad Air specifications

For the lowest-end iPad Air model with 16GB of NAND and no cellular connection, the BOM and manufacturing cost is $274, $42 less than the entry-level third-generation iPad.

The profitability of the iPad Air rises as the NAND memory capacity increases. For example, the 32GB model costs Apple $8.40 more to produce — but has a retail price that’s $100 higher.

The iPad Air’s thinner form factor is partly due to reductions in the thickness of the display and touch-screen subsystems.

Air’s display is 1.8 mm thick, compared to about 2.23 mm for the older-generation iPad. Meanwhile the touch screen is also thinner with its use of an expensive cyclo olephin polymer (COP) film sensor vs. the thicker and cheaper glass sensor used in the previous models.

iPad Air’s display carries a cost of $90, compared to $87 for the third-generation model. The touch-screen module is estimated at $43.00, compared to $37.50 for the third-generation iPad.

Apple has reduced the capacity of the battery in the iPad Air compared to the previous iPad. Battery capacity in iPad Air is 32.9 watt hours (Wh), down 23 percent from 42.5Wh in the third-generation model.

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