Solid Gold iPad Worth The Exclusivity Factor?

customized gold ipadI guess one of the problems I’m likely to never have to worry about in my lifetime is having too much money. You know, the kind of “stupid money” that enables a person to buy not just the latest gadget, but a SOLID GOLD version of the latest gadget.

For those of you wealthy individuals that are having your butler read blogs like to you (come on, you don’t think those people actually read for themselves do you?!), you’re in luck. Camaél London has an offering you’re sure to find enticing for all that not so hard earned money you have lining your pockets. It’s a Solid Gold iPad.

You have your choice of a number of solid gold choices to choose from, and can even further customize your iPad with additional gems for the extra special feel. The company’s courier service will personally deliver your iPad to you in a custom made presentation box along with a certificate of authenticity. The cost, just £89,999, or about $150,000.

Let’s do a little comparison for the rest of us lower rent district citizens:

Solid Gold iPad or a Porsche 911 Turbo S

Solid Gold iPad or 300 regular iPads

Solid Gold iPad or a reasonably nice house in most parts of the country

Solid Gold iPad or 3061 iPod Shuffles

Solid Gold iPad or 6 2011 Toyota Prius cars

Solid Gold iPad or 5 Mac Pros, 10 Apple 27″ LED Monitors, 5 15″ MacBook Pros, 10 11″ MacBook Airs, 10 13″ MacBook Airs, 5 17″ MacBook Pros, 20 iPod Shuffles, 15 iPod Nanos, 25 iPod Classics, 15 iPod Touches, 10 iPad 2′s, and 36 iMac 27″ers

What’s interesting is they’re modifying the original iPad instead of the iPad 2 model. Seems like a behind the times offering.

I have to wonder how many of these they’ll actual sell, or how many they even project to sell.

[Image & Source: LuxuryLaunches]


How Much Does That New iPad REALLY Cost To Make?

Fortunately for all of us, that burning question has a relatively reliable answer. A company named iSuppli broke the costs down and determined that the components for each of the released models of iPad come in at the following totals for parts:

iPad 16GB version – $259.60 ($236.40 profit for Apple)

iPad 32GB version – $289.10 ($309.90 profit for Apple)

iPad 64GB version – $348.10 ($350.90 profit for Apple)

Roughly a 50% margin, give or take. I don’t believe that includes assembly or getting the devices to the States, as well as other charges involved with product marketing, store shipments, etc. Still not bad given that prices on hardware will continue to decline over the life of the product giving Apple even more margin over time.

Interestingly enough, more than 40% of the iPad’s costs are consumed with components powering the touchscreen display and user interface of the device. Here’s what I gathered for individual component costs for those interested:

Touchscreen Display – $95.00

Processor/Main Chip – $26.80

Flash Memory Chips – $29.50 (16GB); $59.00 (32GB); $118 (64GB)

Broadcom Chip for Bluetooth & Wi-Fi – $8.05

Texas Instruments Chip to help control touchscreen – $1.80

2 Additional Chips used to control touchscreen – $3.70

Ciruss Logic Audio Chip – $1.20

Aluminum Casing on Device Back – $10.50

For as expensive as everyone complains Apple hardware has always been, a 50% gross margin doesn’t seem out of line by any stretch. They make great devices that I’ve always felt last longer than their counterparts.



Apple Got Me…Again

I really had no intention of buying an iPad on Saturday. My plan was to wait for the 3G version thinking the built in connection to AT&T would come in handy. Well, Saturday came and something happened around mid-afternoon. One of my kids asked, “Dad, are we getting an iPad today?” which led to game over. It was like the unseen Apple gods had flipped a switch in my Apple psyche and I started dialing for iPads.

I tried two different Apple Stores, both of which were either out or almost out. I tried several Best Buys. No luck. Then…JACKPOT!!! What I assumed to be the busiest Apple Store in Portland reported having all three models in stock with barely a line. They closed at 8:00pm and I got there at around 7:30pm. After less than 5 minutes in line, not even enough time to partake in the snacks they had out for customers waiting to get into the store, I was introduced to my Apple sales guru and ushered into iPad-land.

I opted to skip all of the hands on fluff and just buy. I was out of the store, iPad in hand, less than 10 minutes later. Don’t know if it’s true, but a couple of the store employees mentioned the iPad allotment to their store was based on the number of pre-orders that were to be received in the same location. They had a counter full of iPads left when I walked out at near the end of the day on Saturday.

So, why did I break down and get an iPad on Saturday? There were 3 big things that swung me to accelerated purchasing:

1. New Apple Toy Envy – This is probably why I buy just about anything new Apple comes out with. They just make sweet gear. Having something THE DAY it comes out from Apple is like going to see a highly anticipated movie at midnight on the day of it’s release. It’s just plain fun and all your friends envy you.

2. Wifi/Non-3G Version – After committing to the 3G version, I decided that that WiFi version of the iPad actually made more sense. I already have a Sprint Overdrive that gives me both 3G and 4G service (on Clear’s network), so in most areas I’ll use an iPad, I will actually have faster service than if I had the built in 3G service from AT&T. Not to mention I won’t be saddled with another $30/mo in fees. The Overdrive fits in a pocket, is a no brainer to use and acts a personal hot spot, so it will be only slightly less handy than having the service built into the iPad. Also, it’s just rare anymore that I’m not in a spot with WiFi of some sort.

3. Cost Savings – The WiFi version is cheaper and I’m now saving $30/month on service fees. How often can you be an early adopter and actually SAVE money?! Hey, I didn’t say all 3 reasons for impulse buying were solid.

In the end, I really have no complaints. Even when my wife said, “So what exactly are you going to do with it?” That’s actually part of the fun of the iPad in my opinion…figuring out what you’re going to do with it.


Will It Blend – iPad Edition!

Well, I haven’t stepped up to the plate and snagged an iPad yet (although other team members have, so hopefully we’ll get some good hands on here soon) but there’s nothing like a good Will It Blend episode with a new Apple product at the heart of it.

Enough rambling, check out the video.


Apple iPad Pre-Orders Now Delayed

I was reading a press release this morning about the Apple iPad Pre-Orders. It indicated all pre-orders going forward were going to be delayed on the Wi-Fi units until April 12th with the Wi-Fi + 3G versions still coming “late April”. We’re almost to April and no date on the 3G models seems a bit odd. Add to it that Apple is delaying add’l Wi-Fi models for 9 days and my mind starts to wonder.

My first thought when reading that was could Apple have discovered an issue with the first run units that needs to be fixed before additional devices are shipped? All you early MacBook Air adopters know exactly what I’m talking about. We suffered through more than our fair share of problems with the first gen versions of those. Still great devices and I wouldn’t necessarily wait if I had it to do all over again.

For the iPad, I don’t know that I’d want one of the April 3rd shipped devices. Part of me wonders if it wouldn’t be better to wait until the 3G models come out (I’m waiting for 3G anyway) to at least have a little better shot at a device sans the early adoption woes.

Part of what is contributing to this paranoia is I’m really really surprised that Apple is even selling that many iPad Wi-Fi editions out of the gate. Aside from devices for press and all the giveaway iPads I’ve seen going for everything from buying insurance to selling affiliate offers to buying make money online products, I just don’t see the early adopters going for the base version. Everyone I know is waiting for the 3G edition.

Perhaps Apple has intentionally created the shortage, just like always seems to happen with these cool category changing products. Course, again, this doesn’t seem likely. Especially given that Best Buy will have iPads hitting the shelves the same time the Apple Store does this time around.

What does everyone think? Apple cover up, poor production planning, or just plain old shortage?



Build Your Own iPad

Can’t wait for Apple to release the new iPad? Build your own iPad…well, sort of. This is more like an iPaperPad, but it will be one heck of a sweet piece of “gear” until you get your hands on the real thing. The process is pretty easy. Here it is:

1. Go here to print out the front and back of the iPad: Front, Back. Make sure you print in color on a printer capable of borderless printing.
2. Cut along the dotted lines and fold.
3. Put either a pad of paper, or a stack of heavy paper into the middle.
4. Glue everything together.
5. VOILA! You’ll be the envy of the coffee shop.

If you’ve got a large format A3 printer, you can grab a PDF that will print an iPad to full size here: iPad A3 PDF.

Personally I think it looks pretty nice. A great mod would be to use a bound pad of paper and keep the front page loose so you can use the pad underneath it. Then it would serve a useful purpose as well as be some eye candy.