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By Arik Hesseldahl
The cost to make an iPod, Xbox, and other electronics has big bottom-line implications at Apple, Microsoft, and their peers. Some companies are willing to swallow losses on some gadgets—for instance, gaming consoles—in hopes that they'll make up the difference, and then some, on sales of related gear, such as video game software. Other companies, including Apple, are able to sell many products for a healthy profit from the get-go.
Market research company iSuppli takes it upon itself to tear down popular gadgets to find out the price of the component parts and the vendors supplying those ingredients. A rundown of several recent iSuppli teardowns follows—each slide lists the product, maker, release date, retail price on the release date, and iSuppli's estimate of the cost of materials.