Intel iMac Costs Apple $899 to Build

Apple's cost to build the new Intel-based iMac likely costs about $873, research firm iSuppli said on Thursday. The most expensive part in the computer is the Intel Core Duo processor that powers it, on which the firm placed a value of $265.

Additionally, the firm estimates it costs Apple $25 to build and test every iMac, making the total cost $899. This does not include the cost of including a keyboard and mouse, as well as documentation with each system.

Based on the core iMac's retail price, the profit margins for Apple are approximately 44 percent, which is in line with the margins for other products in its lineup. A previous dissection of an 2GB iPod Nano by iSuppli yielded a 50 percent profit margin, a 512MB iPod Shuffle 55 percent, and 43 percent for the Mac Mini.

Combined with the Intel mobile 945 core-logic chipset, the processing unit makes up 35 percent of the device's bill of materials, says iSuppli's teardown head and analyst Andrew Rassweiler. He noted that while the chip inside of the iMac is intended for use in laptop computers, there is a reason for Apple's actions.

"Users want quiet and powerful machines," he said in a statement. "Intel is very focused on designing microprocessors that deliver the maximum performance without generating excessive heat or consuming huge amounts of power. For now, the Intel Core Duo fits that bill perfectly."

The ATI graphics card made up $30 of the total cost, while memory from Samsung added another $20. Details on the cost of the LG-manufactured LCD or Maxtor 160GB hard drive were only available to iSuppli clients.

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