32GB iPad 2 costs $337 to build: Touchscreen biggest expense

The 32GB iPad 2 WiFi + 3G costs Apple $326.60 in components and a further $10 for production, according to the latest BOM research by iSuppli. That makes it just six dollars more than the original 32GB iPad, despite some components – such as the new Apple A5 dual-core processor – costing considerably more than their predecessors.

The A5, for instance, is believed to cost 75-percent more than the Apple A4 chip in the iPad and iPhone 4. Contrary to initial expectations about 3G radio chipsets, the GSM and CDMA iPad 2 models have different modems rather than, as in the iPhone 4, a single hybrid modem locked to either AT&T or Verizon. The GSM iPad 2 WiFi + 3G iSuppli tore down contained an Infineon chip.

While the 9.7-inch display is the same, the touchscreen panel is believed to cost $127 versus the original iPad's $95, because of refinements in specifications, improvements in glue for the display/touchscreen/glass sandwich, and ongoing issues surrounding touchscreen manufacture. The battery, too, is improved – to accommodate the higher power chip while still deliver the over 10hrs runtime we observed in our iPad 2 review – while the cameras add a mere $4.30 to the overall BOM.

[via evertiq]