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New 3DS Teardown Corroborates $100 Bill Of Materials Report

New 3DS Teardown Corroborates $100 Bill Of Materials Report

March 29, 2011 | By Kris Graft

A recent teardown of the Nintendo 3DS has corroborated earlier reports that the bill of materials for the new handheld amounts to just over $100.

Supply chain research firm IHS iSuppli found in a preliminary estimate that the total bill of materials adds up to $100.71. Including a $2.54 per unit manufacturing cost, the total cost to produce the handheld comes to $103.25, compared to a U.S. MSRP of $250.

The new bill of materials estimate, released yesterday, is nearly identical to a report last week that found that the platform's raw materials alone cost $101.

IHS iSuppli said the 3DS' bill of materials is 33 percent higher in cost compared to the 3DS predecessor, Nintendo DSi, at the time of that platform's launch two years ago. The DSi launched with a bill of materials of $75.58, the research firm said (it retailed for $169.99 in the U.S.).

IHS iSuppli's teardown includes the cost of not only the components of the 3DS itself, but also the charger, box, packaging and literature, stylus, cables and other extras costs.

The combined cost of the upper 3D stereoscopic display and the lower touch screen -- both from Sharp -- is $33.80, making them together the most expensive components.

IHS senior director of teardown services Andrew Rassweiler said the 3DS' 3D screen implements a "clever feat of engineering."

"When the display module is removed from the 3DS enclosure, it looks like a slightly thicker conventional thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT LCD)," he said in a statement.

"However, upon opening up the device, we observed that on one side of the glass is a conventional color TFT element, while the other side was a monochrome LCD element," he explained.

"The monochrome LCD parallax barrier in the back acts as a gate that allows light to either pass through certain areas of the screen or not," Rassweiler said. "Switching this gate in the right patterns at high frequency helps create the illusion of 3-D depth."

Mechanical and electromechanical components including wiring, plastics, metals, connectors and so forth were next most expensive after the displays, costing $20.81, the firm said. IHS iSuppli believes the dual core processor in the 3DS is manufactured by Sharp and costs $10.02.

IHS iSuppli also noted that the bill of materials and manufacturing cost do not take into account "soft" costs associated with the 3DS, including software, licensing, royalties and other non-hardware costs.

Click here to see IHS iSuppli's full teardown.


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