Palm Pre Teardown: $170 to Build, $300 to Sprint

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A virtual teardown of the highly-anticipated Pre smartphone by Palm Inc. carries a projected materials cost of US$170.02, according to iSuppli Corp.

That price includes hardware, manufacturing, and licenses for software and intellectual property, based on iSuppli estimates that rely on a mobile handset cost model, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Tina Teng, an analyst at iSuppli, said features are similar between Apple's iPhone and Pre, especially the multi-touch display. "The use of the multi-touch screen--a key allure of the iPhone -- and Palm's innovative webOS operating system, are likely to allow the Pre to appeal to a broad range of consumers, far beyond the company's core group of business-oriented customers," Teng said.

Other features of importance in the Pre, which are seen also in the BlackBerry Storm, are access to 3G wireless, an accelerometer, an ambient light sensor, large capacity memory, Wi-Fi and a 3-megapixel camera, she said.

Sprint Nextel Inc. is the exclusive carrier for the Pre, and a company spokesman said this week that it is expected to ship by mid-year, but did not say what it would cost consumers.

ISupply projects Palm to charge Sprint $300 for the Pre, but Sprint's will charge customers $200, because of a subsidy the carrier pays when people sign new contracts.

Of the $170 cost, hardware makes up $137.83, including the battery, with $9.58 for manufacturing costs and $22.61 for licensing of software and IP.

The most expensive module is the display and touchscreen, costing $39.51, or 23%, of the total.

This story, "Palm Pre Teardown: $170 to Build, $300 to Sprint" was originally published by Computerworld.

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