Xoom Teardown Reveals Insides More Expensive than Ipad

March 3, 2011
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The folks at iSuppli have delivered yet another wonderful tear down and costing analysis for everyone to see. Everyone wants to know which tablet contains the highest quality parts. While we do know some things regarding the Ipad 2, it hasn’t been released yet. Major components like the display and touch panel are likely to remain the same, while the processor and battery are likely to be different. Thankfully, for now, iSuppli has provided us with significant insight to answer one question: what does it cost to make the Xoom? The cost of the internals of the Xoom are higher due to the fact that, in some cases, it contains higher-performance parts.

Because we don’t have the next generation iPad 2, we will have compare the current iPad 3G 32GB model, which is, arguably, the closest competitor to the Motorola Xoom. It is priced at $729, while the Xoom is priced at $799. Undoubtedly, this has resulted in numerous complaints from the blogosphere and consumers alike. iSuppli shows us that there is valid reasoning behind this price differential, and its because of the higher-cost and higher performance parts included in the Motorola Xoom. What is also on everyones’ minds too is whether or not the iPad 2 will have a comparable feature set to the Motorola Xoom and maintain its current pricing. If this happens – which we believe it will, then Motorola will like have to price the Xoom more aggressively to win the hearts and minds, and most importantly – wallets, of consumers everywhere.

The cost of materials to build the Motorola Xoom, according to iSuppli, is approximately $359.92. When compared with  $320 for the iPad 3G with 32GB of flash memory, it’s not entirely unreasonable that they would ask $799 for it, which is only an $80 price differential from the similar specced Ipad at $720.

Motorola has closely lined up the Xoom’s component costs with that of the iPad’s, especially where it counts: in the touch screen, the display, and the cellular radio. Of all the “iPad killers” analyzed by the IHS iSuppli teardown team, the Xoom best approximates the cost/performance standard set by Apple, wrote Wayne Lam, an IHS analyst.

The Xoom…equals many of the iPad’s best features–while also making up for some of the iPad’s shortcomings, such as the lack of a camera–at least until Apple begins shipping its second-generation product line.”

 

Display:

The display and touch screen on the Xoom represent a true technological leap forward over the current iPad. The display and touch screen are the most expensive thing on the Xoom, just like other tablets. Together, they cost $140 on the Xoom The iPad’s 9.7-inch display and touch screen cost $125, based on the pricing provided by iSuppli’s last year.

Overall, the Xoom’s display seems to have higher quality technology than the iPad. The Xoom’s thin-film transistor liquid-crystal display has a denser pixel format than the iPad at a resolution of 1,280×800 versus 1,024×768 for the iPad. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your point of view – the iPad’s screen is superior because it has in-plane switching (IPS) technology, which allows for a wider viewing angle and better picture quality in terms of color presentation than a conventional LCD.

That beings said, the Xoom’s touch screen module has a new 32-bit device capable of detecting up to 16 touch points simultaneously. “This multichip solution for touch screen controls represents an arguably more expensive design than the custom Texas Instruments Inc./Broadcom Corp. touch screen solution employed in the original iPad,” iSuppli said.

Memory:

Memory has gone up in price over the last year, and is the next costliest Xoom component. Compared with the iPad, which employs a paltry 256MB of system memory, the Xoom has 1GB of system memory. This component on the Xoom costs $80.40 according to iSuppli, whereas it costs $67.80 for the equivalent 32GB model in the iPad. While both the Xoom and iPad have 32GB of NAND flash, the Xoom really sets itself appart with 1GB of system memory on board.

Processor:

“One of the most dramatic cost differentials between the Xoom and iPad is in the apps processor,” according to IHS iSuppli. The Xoom employs the dual-core Nvidia processor, and is alleged to cost an estimated $20.78. “This is almost twice the cost of the iPad 3G’s A4 [single-core] processor at slightly less than $11,” the market researcher said.

 

Camera:

The current iPad has no cameras, whereas the Xoom has two. This obviously adds to cost, with the Xoom’s 5-megapixel camera on the back and the 2-megapixel device on the front carrying a total cost of $14.

 

Conclusion:

Undeniably, the Motorola Xoom is packing some serious hardware. Its higher resolution screen, 1GB of system memory, HDMI out, SD Card reader, and dual-core Tegra 2 processor make it one of the most technologically advanced tablets currently available. In some ways, it almost feels pointless to compare the two, for the iPad 2 is currently in the process of being announced. Really though, with the new specs of the iPad 2 now known, it represents only a minor upgrade, rather than a new, groundbreaking device. While we haven’t had the chance to have it torn down to know the exact specifics regarding the internals, we do know that the iPad 2 officially has the following specs:

 

Ipad 2 Specs:

9.7-inch display (1024×768)

1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor

16GB/32GB/64GB storage

Front VGA and rear 720p camera

8.8mm thick and weighs 590 grams

Available in black or white

 

What do you thing? With a cost to build to the Xoom said to be approximately $330, do you think it’s unreasonable for Motorola to ask $799 for it? What would be a fair price?

9.7-inch display (1024×768)

1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor

16GB/32GB/64GB storage

Front VGA and rear 720p camera

8.8mm thick and weighs 590 grams

Available in black or white

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