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RIM's iPad 2 Rival Costs Only $190 To Build

A teardown analysis carried out by UBM TechInsights has revealed that the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, one of the main competitors to the Apple iPad 2 and the Motorola XOOM, has bill of material costs starting from only $190.

According to a comparison table (opens in new tab) produced by the analyst firm, the fact that the PlayBook has a smaller screen and uses tightly integrated components means that it can easily match Apple's cost of production.

The bulk of the savings came through the adoption of Texas Instruments components which include the OMAP4430 dual core processor, radio and power management parts.

Choosing a smaller 5300mAh battery makes it $5 cheaper than the iPad and a similar saving was obtained using the smaller 7-inch screen as well. Both Motorola and Apple apparently paid a whopping $23 for their radio components which were 3G models rather than Wi-Fi as with the PlayBook.

On the other hand, choosing higher resolution cameras means that RIM ended up paying three times more than Apple for that feature. Ditto for the flash memory; the 32GB SanDisk NAND flash memory for the PlayBook is 10 per cent more expensive than for the iPad 2.

Phones4U has announced that the BlackBerry PlayBook will go on sale soon in the UK after going on sale yesterday in the US.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.