As iPad mini owners settled in with their new tablets yesterday, research firm IHS (via AllThingsD) was working hard to tear it down. The firm, previously known as iSuppli, found that the Wi-Fi 16GB base model costs roughly $188 for Apple to build, which it sells for $329. Furthermore, the 32GB and 64GB models cost an additional $31 and $62 to build, respectively.

During its Q4 earnings call, CFO Peter Oppenheimer announced that the iPad mini gross margin is “significantly below” the rest of the products Apple is cranking out. “We’re unwilling to cut corners in delivering the best experiences in the world,” added Apple CEO Tim Cook. Presumably, Apple had to keep the price down to $329 to stay competitive with other products in the market, like Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle lineup, but wasn’t able to go down to $199 like many hoped. On the call, Apple further stated that it would work to make iPad mini production more cost-effective.

In its report, IHS further looked at the components being used to build the iPad mini. It was found that LG Display and AU Optronics are supplying roughly $80 in display components for the 7.9-inch tablet. iFixit’s teardown released on Friday found that Samsung is making display components, too. Samsung was also found to supply the A5 chip in the iPad mini in IHS’ report. [AllThingsD]

Additionally, IHS took a look at the Microsoft RT tablet and Kindle Fire HD this afternoon. The RT was found to cost $271 to build the base 32GB model, while the Kindle Fire HD was found to cost $165.

The iPad mini went on sale Friday morning worldwide, and many stores have already sold out of the tablet. Early reviews have given the iPad mini positive marks in most areas, except its non-Retina display.

You can check out iFixit’s teardown from Friday for high-quality images of the iPad mini’s internals.

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