With the economy in the tank (still) and the heat on, cost and profit margins are more important than ever to companies hoping to stave off the inevitable, apocalyptic doom of recession. Well, iSuppli's released an estimated report of how much its costing Palm to cobble together the Pre -- about $138, as it turns out. iSuppli has positively identified just two of the Pre's suppliers thus far -- that Texas Instruments OMAP chip, which runs Palm $11, and Qualcomm's wireless chip -- but they've formed a general picture of what's under the hood for the estimate. That price is about 46 percent of the $300 iSuppli suggests Palm will be charging Sprint for the Pre (a number that's completely unconfirmed at this point). To put it in perspective, the BlackBerry Storm costs about $203 to make and was sold for $199 initially, the G1 clocked in at $144, while the iPhone 3G costs Apple an estimated $174.33. Of course, we have no way of assessing the accuracy of the estimate yet, but if it's in the neighborhood of correct, Palm's profit margin should be pretty healthy.

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Palm Pre: $138 to build according to iSuppli