iSuppli has claimed that the manufacturing cost of Apple's iPad is $229.35 (just over £146 at current exchange rates).

iSuppli notes that the iPad – set to retail in the US for $499 – costs the company over half of that amount to produce, based on what it calls a "virtual teardown" of the device, which is not yet available to consumers.

£146 Apple tablet PC

Apple's iPad will go on sale in the US early next month, with the UK set to see the device a little later in the early spring.

The $499 iPad is Apple's lowest-cost model, with 16 gigabytes of flash memory.

The device's total materials are estimated to cost $219.35, with a $10 manufacturing cost added on by iSuppli's analysts. The iPad's 9.7-inch touchscreen display is estimated to cost of $80.

The top of the range iPad will cost around $335 to make and the mid-range iPad will cost in the region of $287, says iSuppli.

Apple is expected to sell anything between 2 million and 5 million iPads in the first year on the shelf.

Via Reuters