iPad Competitors Can't Match Apple's Design Efficiency

It looks like tablet makers are not only failing to reach the iPad's level when it comes to sales, but also can't compare to Apple in terms of design efficiency, which keeps the iPad's production costs down.

Recent analysis from IHS iSuppli compared eight different tablet models: three models from Apple (iPad wi-fi only, iPad 3G and iPad 2), Samsung Galaxy Tab and RIM Blackberry PlayBook, Motorola Xoom, Asus Eee Pad, and HP TouchPad.

The results reveals that Apple's ability to control its iOS operating system, through limiting the amount of memory required and the use of thinner batteries for example, has allowed the company to reduce costs, while maintaining high-end performance.

While most tablets feature 1GB of SDRAM, Apple's iPad features almost half as much, with 512 megabytes. By reducing the memory quantity, the production costs are reduced by $14 for each iPad 2 unit, compared to other competing tablets.

"Since Apple controls both the operating system and hardware design of the iPad, it is able to attain design efficiencies that other tablet manufacturers cannot," IHS senior analyst Wayne Lam said. "These efficiencies become obvious in areas like the memory and the battery, where Apple maintains advantages in cost, space savings and performance compared with every competitor in the business."

The analysis has also highlighted that Apple is the trend setter in the tablet market, forcing other tablet makers to keep their prices somewhere around $500.