The total bill for materials in a Nintendo 3DS is about $100, a 33 percent increase over the previous incarnations of the device.

IHS iSuppli did a teardown of the device, and checked the prices of components with the manufacturers. While the 3DS has only just hit the shelves in the U.S., it has been available in Japan for about a month.

The total cost of parts for a 3DS is $100.71, against $78.12 for a DSi. Adding the $2.54 cost of manufacturing (per unit), iSuppli says, gives a total cost of $103.25. The retail price in the U.S. is $249.99.

The most expensive piece of the console is the display, which cost $33.80. That's similar to the DSi, which had a $21.95 display. Both were made by Sharp. The price of the processor rose somewhat as well, to $10.02 in the 3DS from $8.71 in the DSi.

One distinguishing feature of the 3DS -- and a lot of other Nintendo products - is the heavy reliance on parts from Japan. The IHS iSuppli analysis notes that Nintendo is more vulnerable to supply problems that could result from the recent earthquake, which has caused many disruptions in both shipping and manufacturing due to power shortages.

Some features that one might expect to add to the price have actually become cheaper in the years since the DSi was rolled out. Andrew Rassweiler, senior director, teardown services at IHS, noted that the triple camera system the 3DS uses to take 3D photos is only slightly more expensive than the DSi's dual camera system, in part because VGA cameras have become so much cheaper.

The table below lays out the costs and compares the 3DS and DSi.


IHS iSuppli Table: Preliminary Bill of Materials Summary for Nintendo 3DS vs. Nintendo DSi
  3DS (Preliminary Analysis, March 2011) DSi (Full Analysis, February 2009)
FunctionCostMajor ComponentsCostMajor Components
Display / Touch Screen$33.80Includes$21.95Includes
Displays Sharp - LS035T7LE38P - Primary 3-D display module - 3.5 diagonal, 16.77M color TFT color LCD, 800x240 pixels Sharp - LS033A1DB48R - Display module - 3.25 diagonal, 262K color TFT LCD, 256 x 192 pixels, w/ touch screen
  Sharp - LS030Q7DW48P - Secondary display module - 3.0 diagonal, 16.77M color TFT color LCD, 320x240 pixels Sharp - LS033A1DB38R - Display module - 3.25 diagonal, 262K color TFT LCD, 256 x 192 pixels
Touch Screen 3 - 4-wire resistive 3 - 4-wire resistive
Mechanical / Electromechanical$20.81Includes$19.44Includes
  PCBs, connectors, switches, wiring, plastics, metals, etc. PCBs, connectors, switches, wiring, plastics, metals, etc.
Apps Processing$10.02Includes$8.71Includes
  Sharp - Application processor - dual core, ARM Sharp -   Application processor - ARM core
  Samsung Semiconductor - KLM2G1DEHE-B101 - Flash - MoviNAND, 16Gb, MLC, 3.3V Samsung Semiconductor - KMAPF0000M-S998 - Flash - MoviNAND, 2Gb, MLC
  Fujitsu - MB82M8080-07L - MCP - 512Mb FCRAM + 256Mb LPDDR (or PSRAM) (*content assumed) Fujitsu - M82DBS08164D-70L - Mobile FCRAM - 128Mb (8Mx16), 1.8V, 70ns
User Interface$6.81Includes$3.98Includes
  InvenSense - ITG-3270 - Gyroscope - 3-axis, digital Texas Instruments - THS4141IDGN - Amplifier - differential, high speed
  Texas Instruments - Audio codec - stereo (function assumed) Texas Instruments - Audio codec - stereo
  ST Micro - LIS331DLH - Accelerometer - MEMS 3-axis, ±2g/±4g/±8g, digital output  
  Atheros - AR6014G-AL1C - WLAN - single chip, MAC/baseband processor/radio, 802.11b/g, 2.4GHz Atheros - AR6002G-AC1B - WLAN - single chip, 802.11g
    Mitsumi - MM3218 - WLAN - single chip, 802.11b
  3 VGA Cameras - 1 stereo (2x VGA), and 1 mono VGA 2 VGA Cameras
Power Management$3.63Includes$2.05Includes
  Texas Instruments - Power management IC and battery charger (function assumed) Texas Instruments - SN72071B0 - Power management & charger IC
  NEC - Power management for apps processor  
  Battery - Li-ion, 3.7V, 1300mAh Battery - Li-ion, 3.7V, 840mAh
Box Contents$3.48Includes$3.70Includes
  Charger, box, packaging & literature, stylus, cables, etc. Charger, box, packaging & literature, stylus, cables, etc.
  Timing components Timing components
Direct Materials$100.71 $75.58 
Manufacturing Cost$2.54 $2.54Assumed for now not to be different in manufacturing cost
Total$103.25 $78.12 
Source: IHS iSuppli, March 2011