updated 11:50 pm EDT, Sun July 3, 2011
iSuppli gives HP TouchPad an early cost breakdown
iSuppli on Sunday estimated that the HP TouchPad cost $306.65 to make. The raw parts cost for a 16GB Wi-Fi model is about $17 less than a 3G iPad 2 and suggests HP's Palm team opted to focus on a similar level of quality and profit margin.
A 32GB version costs $328.65. As with other cost breakdowns, the price doesn't include marketing, research, and other factors that go into the actual cost to make and ship the end product.
Both have an at least very similar if not identical LG Display 9.7-inch, IPS-based screen that's the most expensive part of the tablet. The LCD itself is estimated to cost $69, while the capacitive touch panel on top costs about $63.50, iSuppli said. HP is using a Cypress touch controller chipset at $11.75 instead of the Broadcom and TI parts Apple uses.
As expected, very little is similar on the inside. The 1.2GHz Qualcomm APQ8060 Snapdragon processor is substantially different than Apple's A5, most of all in its slower graphics. Both Apple and HP do share similarity, however, in that the APQ8060 has had its cellular baseband components stripped out where most Snapdragons include it, possibly dropping the price but leaving the door open to a 3G or 4G sequel that needs little more than a new processor. For the current TouchPad, HP is more likely to have external chips. At $20, HP's choice is roughly on par in price.
HP is using SanDisk's iNAND for flash memory, which costs $23 for 16GB and $45 for 32GB. Like Apple and most other electronic firms, HP is charging significantly more than needed for the higher capacity to help subsidize prices on lower end models and to account for the smaller volume. Apple typically relies on Samsung and sometimes Toshiba for its iOS flash storage.
Qualcomm and TI account for a handful of the remaining chips, including four from TI for power and the display that cost $4.50 and a Qualcomm Atheros Wi-Fi chip for $2.60.
The design may be thick, but it's hinted from the design that HP could either slim it down or add more components without bulking up the shape. At least in Wi-Fi trim, the TouchPad has no native GPS and may save that for 3G and 4G models. To some extent, the TouchPad is taking a cue from Apple, where the battery and mainboard only take up some of the inside space and theoretically leave room for more. [via AllThingsD]