Breakdown of Costs in an Intel iMac
Businessweek reports on a breakdown on the costs of components in the new Intel iMac.
They cite a company called iSuppli which took apart the Intel iMac and calculated the total cost of materials it takes to assemble.
According to the company, the 17" Intel iMac which retails for $1299 costs Apple $898 before adding software and boxing it. They estimate that the most expensive component is the new Intel Core Duo chip which is estimated to cost Apple $265 a piece.
The exact cost of the PowerPC that was in the G5 iMac is unknown, but the company estimates that it was significantly cheaper - closer to $100. That cost is a bit deceptive by itself, however, as Apple also had to develop their own custom chips to integrate the G5 into the rest of the motherboard. With the Core Duo, Apple simply uses Intel-provided chips at much lower cost.