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iPad Dominates Due To Apple's Supply Chain Deals

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iPAD 3

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple certainly has lots of buzz and corporate cache behind its products, but there's a hidden — almost mundane — reason its newest iPad is likely to dominate the competition: the advantageous deals the company cuts with components manufacturers.

Apple's size, and the fact that the iPad shares components with the highly popular iPhone, means that the company can buy crucial parts such as processing chips and display screens at lower prices. Any company that wants to make a tablet computer that matches the iPad's $499 starting price has to endure higher costs.

As a result, Apple's tablet-making competitors have flailed — and failed. And with the new iPad, Apple is expected to extend its 62 percent market share in the tablet computer category it created. IMS Research expects Apple to capture 70 percent of the market this year.

A year ago, scores of companies all thought they had a shot at emulating Apple's success. More than 100 tablet models were on display at the annual consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas in January 2011. Many of them ran on the Android operating system, developed by Silicon Valley powerhouse Google.

As the year progressed, those dreams crumbled. The iPad 3, launched in March, proved nearly unassailable.

A big part of the reason was that Apple has priced the iPad aggressively. At just under $500 for the basic model, Apple's profit margin on the device is lower than on the iPhone, a smaller device for which it charges phone companies a wholesale rate of $600 or more.

Last modified on Monday, 12 March 2012 09:16

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