Unlike Amazon and Google, which sell tablets at or near the build cost, with the hope of making it up elsewhere, Apple expects to make a decent product on every single product they build. Their margins are among the highest in the tech industry, despite being able to remain highly competitive when it comes to the actual purchase price.
Yes, I realize that Apple gets attacked for the perceived high price of a Mac, but these are all premium models, using premium parts. In the PC world, OEMs continue to race towards the bottom, using cheap components in order to deliver those $500 note-books. Apple will never play that game, and hence they are regarded by some as a company that charges you more for essentially the same product, even though that’s not exactly true.
With the arrival of an iPad mini pretty much a given, there have already been estimates on what it’ll cost to build one. Understand those estimates have been made without access to a real shipping product. It’s just an educated guess based, in part, on what it costs to build one of the existing iPads, plus estimates on possible new components.