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Day April 7, 2010

Another revolution: a new priority in the BOM

“Conventional notebook PCs are ‘motherboard-centric,’ with all the other functions in the system—-such as the display, the keyboard and audio—-peripheral to the central microprocessor and the main printed circuit board at the core,” Andrew Rassweiler, teardown services manager for iSuppli, said Wednesday. “With the iPad, this is reversed.”

User interface components total 44% of the total bill of materials (BOM).  The display is 26% and the touch assembly is 12%.  Memory is 11% (16G variant), processor is 10%, and case a 4%.  Batteries make up a large part of the rest (37%).

Nokia Tablet?

“Getting a strong Intel backing here could be an important advantage,” says MKM Partners analyst Tero Kuittinen, who sees the Nokia tablet as part of an array of mobile computers.

via Nokia Aims a Tablet at Apple: Exclusive | Technology | Financial Articles & Investing News | TheStreet.com.

No doubt Nokia’s tablet plans preceded the launch of the iPad–product cycles being what they are.  And the relationship with Intel is certainly a big part of this push (vs. on the handset side where Intel has no cards to play).

However, the elephant in the room is what software will run on this Tablet.  Any discussion on competitive potential of iPad competitors must include a view on the software/platform and ecosystem that tablet will rest on.

This is not a hardware business.  In fact, the hardware is designed to get out of the way.

The hardware is so understated — it’s just a screen, really — and because you manipulate objects and interface elements so smoothly and directly on the screen, the fact that you’re using an iPad falls away. You’re using the app, whatever it may be, and while you’re doing so, the iPad is that app. Switch to another app and the iPad becomes that app. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

source: http://db.tidbits.com/article/11152

iPad component costs estimated at $260

AppleInsider | iPad component costs adjusted, estimated to cost Apple $260.

It looks like 50% gross margin across the product range is a good estimate.