Originally Posted by judyz
iSuppli is a great place to get information on actual product costs if you are interested. There are also quite a few other sites on the web if you are interested in learning more about supply costs. I would also highly recommend an ebay search. You will be flabergasted at the cost of items when purchased directly from the manufacturers in China.
A simple search will also help you to discover that magnet prices specifically are qutie low as well. Especially when buying in quantity. Even an average consumer can purchase a 150 pack of rare earth magnets (www.rare-earth-magnets.com
among others) for a retail of 5 cents a unit.
The original Kindle Fire cost Amazon $2 more than they were selling it for. Amazon didn't care because they knew they would make that back off the first electronic purchase.
I personally don't see the corelation to the profit margins on the device the decision to make poor choices about the case. Since there is no requirement to buy an official case Kobo only hurts themselves by not having them available and not pricing them competitively. Third party suppliers will be happy to eat up the high margin case sales.
Note that isuppli mostly focuses on the electronics - the suppliers of clothing and various other knick-knacks in China don't quite operate the same way, and their costs are a tad different. And given that reply, I'm guessing you don't have anything solid on what the cases should cost; we're dealing with customs, transportation over the ocean, fuel costs to get them to the docks, from the docks, to stores, etc. Payment of staff, various other 'incidentals' (which in some cases look a lot like bribery), taxes at various levels, and more.
Now, I agree that they should've had the damned cases out sooner - not having them available at launch is a mistake, but it's a mistake they've made before. The Kobo Touch took months to get cases; ditto the Vox, which didn't have an official case when it first launched, and didn't until about 4 months later. I should know, since I spent most of the spring and part of the summer trying to find one, before settling for a simple Playbook leather envelope I got on clearance.
And Kobo cases have always tended to be expensive; I remember them going for $40 for the ones that were little more than velvet-coated cardboard. About the only thing different here is that the cases appear to be better made than the last crop of Kobo Touch and Vox cases. Otherwise, their lateness and expense are typically Kobo.
I'm waiting for a third party supplier who'll make a case that doesn't use elastics or leather straps that includes a magnet. I'm not holding my breath while waiting for one, though.