The Retina Display Is the Centerpiece of the New iPad

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2012-03-19 Print this article Print


€œThe Retina Display represents the centerpiece of the new iPad and is the most obvious enhancement in features, compared to previous-generation models,€ Andrew Rassweiler, senior principal analyst with IHS' teardown services, agreed in a statement. €œThe first two generations of the iPad employed the same type of display€”a screen with resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels. For the third-generation new iPad, Apple has taken a significant step up in display capabilities and expense, at four times the resolution and 53 percent more cost.€

The second-most-expensive items on the BOM are filed under "mechanical/electro-mechanical" bits, which add $50.50 to the bill of all the new iPads.

Next up is the wireless section, which, given the change from 3G to 4G, explains the increase from $25.60 to $41.50.

"The big winner in this section is Qualcomm Inc., whose MDM9600 baseband processor provides the core LTE functionality," writes IHS, adding that it believes these parts are the same across AT&T and Verizon Wireless models "although that hasn't been confirmed yet."

Also pricey: The touch-screen€”the same as in the iPad 2€”is again priced at $40.

The processor, Apple's new A5X, comes at price of $23, up from $14.20. While Samsung acts as a foundry partner on the processor, IHS clarifies, the intellectual property is Apple's.

This means that Samsung's margin on the component is lower than it would otherwise be.

The cameras now cost Apple $12.35, instead of $4.10, since it boosted the megapixels on the new iPad's rear-facing camera from barely 1 to 5 megapixels. And finally, in one area, Apple actually managed to save a few coins. The price of the new iPad's user interface, sensors and combo module for WLAN signals is now an even $15, down from $15.35 on the iPad 2.

IHS adds that Apple "far and away" makes more money selling NAND to consumers than NAND manufacturers make selling it to Apple. While the BOMs between the 16GB and 32GB 4G iPads are less than $17, Apple jumps the retail price between the two by $100.

Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.

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