Amazon Kindle 2 Costs $185.49 to Build
Kindle 2 costs $185.49 in materials and manufacturing costs, says an April 22
report by iSuppli Corp.'s Teardown Analysis Service.
Actual materials cost for the eReader device is $176.83, with an additional $8.66 from manufacturing expenses and battery. The company's analysis did not include costs of intellectual property, royalties, licensing fees or elements such as software loading that cannot be revealed through a product teardown.
to the report, the materials and manufacturing costs "represent 51 percent of
the Kindle 2's $359 retail price."
41 percent of the materials cost comes from the Kindle 2's $60 E Ink Corp. display
module, which supports 16-level grayscale images.
showcase feature of the Kindle is its E-Ink display, which not only is easy on
the eyes, but also employs electrophoretic bistable technology that allows it
to show an image even when it's not drawing power," Andrew Rassweiler, director
and principal analyst of teardown services for iSuppli, said in a statement. "This
makes the Kindle 2's display look like a printed page."
Bezos rolled out the Kindle 2 in a high-profile February 9 presentation at the
Morgan Library and Museum in New York City, capped with a reading by
best-selling author Stephen
King. The new device saw its debut some 14 months after the release of the original
Kindle 2, which can also store PDF and Microsoft Word documents for enterprise
use, displays copy on the 6-inch grayscale screen, with texts navigable via a
the rollout was accompanied by much fanfare, Amazon has found itself faced with
a number of issues related to the device, including
a lawsuit by the Author's Guild, which argued that the Kindle 2's
text-to-speech feature, which reads out loud, would decimate writers'
audio-book royalties. Amazon responded by offering publishers and authors the
option to disable text-to-speech for titles.
March 19, Google
and Sony announced that the search engine giant would make its free public-domain
eBooks available on the Sony Reader, increasing Sony's eLibrary to more than
600,000 volumes and presenting some added competition to the Kindle, whose
library totals 245,000 volumes.
At the same time, Sony lowered the price of its PRS-700 reader to $350, bringing it to a competitive price point against the Kindle 2. Reports have stated that some 300,000 Kindle 2 units have been shipped by mid-April, nearly matching estimates of 400,000-500,000 units shipped for the first Kindle version.