Originally Posted by Hattig
"Assuming the tablet is 3x the size of the iPod touch implies a bill of materials for the tablet of around $480."
An odd assumption to make.
Yes it is very odd indeed. In fact it is odd enough that it totally discounts the credibility of the author.
Miniaturisation adds cost. A tablet is "de-miniaturising" the iPod Touch.
This is not true at all. Generally making things smaller has lead to an explosion of very capable low costs devices. Be it an oscilloscope, computer or TV, making things smaller allows the addition of capability while at the same time lowering prices.
The problem with many of todays devices is that smallness has become something that marketing has zeroed in on as being valuable. My great fear is that Apple will come out with a really nice device and then try to maintain 60% margins on it due to its thinnest.
The other way to look at this is the difference in price between an iPhone and a Touch.
Sure, there will probably be a gig of RAM instead of 256MB (but might be cheaper per MB because it won't be on the SoC package), the CPU (probably still an ARM SoC) can run faster due to more room for cooling (and maybe using the PA Semi design), but shouldn't cost much more.
Actually it might cost Apple less while providing substantially more performance. There are a couple of things working to Apples advantage here. One is the tailoring of the design to the devices needs instead of buying a kitchen sink version from a vendor like TI or Samsung. Second, there has been a huge amount of money sunk into low power ARM designs using a variety of processes and technologies, which are leading to with remarkably low power usage or much higher performance.
Now maybe I'm to optimistic here. The thing is so much tech is gelling all at once that we have the potential to see an extreme amount of performance out of a very low power chip. It would be easy for Apple to target 5 to 7 watts max power usage of the entire device (given an LCD). This compares very favorably with a max of 2.5 watts on a maxed out iPhone. A right sized battery might even allow for more power usage, but I think this is a good estimate. Again that is the entire power draw from the battery, when the system is maxed out.
The battery will get bigger, and probably scale in cost though. Storage could be flash memory, but might not have more capacity than the 32GB iPod Touch. The display probably scales in cost, especially if it is high resolution.
Honestly if it only has 32GB of storage it is a no sale for me. Battery costs are interesting and frankly we have no idea how much it costs Apple to put one in an iPhone. It certainly doesn't cost anywhere near what they are charging for a repair.
As to the screen LCD or OLED it is likely the most expensive component in the device. It might cost Apple anywhere from $125 - $150 for a really tricked out PC board. A lesser board for an entry level model might go out the door for $75. Remember these are prices for a completed PC board ready to plug into the chassis.
If it is delayed, maybe that's because PA Semi is delayed, and maybe that's because they're trying to build their SoC on TSMC's awful 40nm process.
Well I don't think it is delayed myself so I'm going off the deep end into the speculation pool. If PA Semi has delayed things it is likely due to the rapid change in technology related to the ARM industry. Especially development tools focused at the very low power design realm. Unfortunately I don't have any of my design magazines with me right now but one company just announced really good results at lowering the power profile of recent ARM designs. If this tablet is delayed, because of the ARM component, lets hope it is because they are harvesting ideas from some of the brightest people on the planet.