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The Apple iPad, which is expected to sell in Australia for $599, costs just $260 to manufacture, according to tear-down research from iSuppli.The $439 margin is set to contribute significantly to Apple’s bottom line.iSuppli said that the iPad, which is still to be launched, will be a big money spinner for Apple if the device takes off like the iPhone or iPod.The most expensive component is the LG display screen, which costs just $80.

Currently Apple is talking to communication carriers including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone about the inclusion of a 3G SIM card in a top-of-the range model that will sell for around $750.

Apple’s iPad will go on sale in the US early next month, with the Australian market set to see it in April.The $599 iPad is Apple’s lowest-cost model, with 16 gigabytes of flash memory.

Apple is expected to sell anything between 2 million and 5 million iPads in the first year on the shelf.

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