Analysts at UBM TechInsights have done some extensive component research and have estimated that the total BOM (bill of materials) for the 16 GB 4G LTE model of the new iPad to be $310. This makes it the most expensive iPad to manufacture to date with the iPad 2 and original iPad costing $276 and $271 respectively.
As a result of higher estimated manufacturing costs Apple’s margin drops to “just” 51%. The original iPad had a margin of 57% and the recently price drop of the iPad 2 puts its own margin at 53%.
The higher manufacturing costs and lower margins come largely thanks to some beefy new components such as the 9.7 inch Retina Display, LTE radio and the enormous 11,180 mAh battery. These three components alone make up just under 40% of the estimated cost.
The Retina Display and LTE radios are obvious battery drainers, the new iPad has a battery nearly twice as large as the iPad 2 yet offers no improvement in battery life.
Kitguru says: Even with lower margins I really doubt Apple truly cares, especially considering the new tablet is already sold out in several markets (link).