The new iPad Air is getting all the required treatments of a fresh product: teardown, shootdown and the usual Will It Blend episode should be just around the corner. Now it’s time to analyze the cost of the device’s components.


Research firm IHS is showing the cost of the hardware inside the iPad Air. This tablet costs between $274 and $361 to build, depending on the model you analyze. One of the biggest changes here is the display and touchscreen assembly, that’s now thinner and has fewer layers in the combined assembly than in previous iPads.

The combined cost of $133 for the screen setup, with $90 for the display and $43 for the touchscreen parts. Now the touch components are more expensive than before, with LG Display and Samsung being the suppliers here. There’s a brand new type of sensor known as a cycle-olefin polymer, that sits underneath the outer layer of Gorilla Glass that uses touch.

Usually, this would require two layers of glass, but now it requires only one. This makes the assembly measure 1.8 mm thick versus 2.23 mm on the third gen unit. There are fewer LED lights now for the backlight than before, so you can see that everything has changed. In the brightness area we only get 36 LED lights instead of 84, so that’s truly impressive.