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Thursday, January 19, 2006, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

iSuppli teardown of iMac Core Duo reveals sub-$900 BOM

Apple Computer's 1.83GHz iMac Core Duo is the first desktop system to be based on an Intel-manufactured microprocessor carries and carries a Bill of Materials (BOM) cost of $873, according to preliminary data from an iSuppli Corp.'s teardown analysis.

The new iMac, introduced by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs at last week's MacWorld Expo, is based on Intel's Core Duo microprocessor. Additionally, iSuppli's teardown of the system revealed that Apple also is using Intel's mobile 945 core-logic chipset to support the Core Duo microprocessor. The firm estimates the cost of the microprocessor is $265, while the two-device chipset carries a combined cost of $45.

Together, the Intel microprocessor and Mobile 945 chipset account for 35 percent of the new iMac's total BOM, according to Andrew Rassweiler, teardown services manager and senior analyst for iSuppli.

"The Intel chips in the iMac are designed for use in notebook PCs, rather than desktops," the firm said. While this may seem surprising, iSuppli believes Apple's decision to use Intel's notebook-oriented solution in its desktop iMac was a logical move.

"Users want quiet and powerful machines," said Matthew Wilkins, senior analyst for compute platforms research for iSuppli. "Intel is very focused on designing microprocessors that deliver the maximum performance without generating excessive heat or consuming huge amounts of power. For now, the Intel Core Duo fits that bill perfectly."

In addition to the $873 BOM, the iMac carries a $25 manufacturing and test cost, adding up to an $898 cost, said iSuppli. This cost estimate does not account for other items included in the box with the iMac, including the keyboard, the mouse and documentation. Apple is sells the same model for a suggested retail price of $1,299.

According to the teardown, other major elements contributing to the iMac's BOM cost include a 17-inch wide-format LCD panel made by LG.Philips, DiamondMax 10/6L160M0HDD 160Gbyte SATA hard disk drive from Maxtor Corp, Radeon X1600 graphics processor ($30) from ATI Technologies and Double-Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM ($20 per 256MB) from Samsung Electronics.

For additional info on the new iMac Core Duo, check out AppleInsider's closer look at the system's architecture.