Ok this thread is going to open up some about what most companies don’t share, and that is how much does it cost to make their product. But the truth is, you can find this out very easy because of the open source nature of the Arduboy Product.
I won’t answer any direct questions looking to narrow down exactly how much Arduboy costs to make. But if I chose to share stuff, it’s because it’s pretty easy to find out anyways.
The reason I’m sharing this because I’ve got a new goal to try and make some hardware that is as cheap as humanly possible. McDonalds happy meal engineering.
Arduboy is expensive because of, in order of most to least:
Seeed Studio’s overhead for managing the production, and distribution ~ 20-30% of total cost
Labor Costs ~ 10 - 20% of total cost
OLED Display ~ $2.50
ATmega 32u4 ~ $2.50
LiPo Battery ~ $1.00
Packaging ~ $1.00
Everything Else ~ $3.00
So, developing my own distribution model would theoretically be the largest savings here, but my goal is to partner with Seeed so that massive quantities and not large margins are the goal. The labor costs can be reduced significantly because there is a lot of fiddling with the OLED ribbon connector, inserting the buttons, and most importantly the screws. The screws themselves aren’t that cheap, I think they are about 5 cents each, but it’s costing about 50 cents to pay someone to install them.
Going with an LCD screen, ARM processor, and a coin cell or AAA battery will save almost $5 from the BOM (Bill of Materials). The Everything Else category can probably be reduced to around $1.00 by using cheaper materials. From there, it’s mostly volume. I think around a million units is the real key inflection point.
Anyone out there made a million units of something can give advice?
I think I want to do a new kickstarter for this, but video documentary of the process being a bigger part. Possibly that is one of the rewards, or a patreon is possible also. I’d like to get the people from Vice or Verge or some other online blog to get involved too.
Anyone want to join the quest?