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iPad Air reportedly cheaper to build than previous models

The iPad Air debuted last week to glowing reviews. Thankfully, and in stark contrast to the iPhone 5s, iPad Air supply was reportedly plentiful throughout the weekend.

With Apple's most recent and incredibly thin tablet now out in the wild, the research firm IHS decided to pry one open and take a closer look at the components that make up Apple's flagship iPad.

AllThingsD was able to obtain a copy of IHS' report and relays that the iPad Air, on the whole, is comprised of cheaper components than the third-gen iPad (the most recent iPad model IHS conducted a teardown analysis on).

Specifically, the bill of materials on the base-model iPad Air checks in at US$274, compared to $306 for the base-model third-gen iPad. All told, that's a $42 reduction in cost on the $499 device.

That's not to say, however, that every component within the iPad Air is less expensive. IHS, for example, found that the display used on the iPad Air is a tad more costly than its predecessor.

Andrew Rassweiler of IHS also relayed some device changes that aren't so apparent to the naked eye.

For the touchscreen bit, there's a new type of sensor known as a cycle-olefin polymer(COP) sensor that sits underneath the outer layer of Gorilla Glass that users touch. What used to require two layers of glass, Rassweiler says, now requires only one. As a result, the whole assembly measures out to 1.8 millimeters thick, versus 2.23 millimeters on the third-generation model.

Also of note is that the iPad Air employs fewer LED lights for backlighting purposes. Whereas the third-gen iPad employed 84 LED lights, the iPad Air only uses 36.

If you'd like the full breakdown of the components used in the iPad Air, head on over to AllThingsD for the full rundown.

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