Originally Posted by DW999
In my opinion, EVERYTHING in HiFi industry is overpriced. That's because companies know they can get us to pay for it.
I work in manufacturing, specifically accessories for consumer electronics and can make a few educated guesses on the actual costs of these devices.
The AK10 BOM cost shouldn't cost more than 20 USD to manufacture and should have a ex-factory price of 22-25 USD.
Standard industry pricing is to set MSRP 4 times higher than ex-factory pricing meaning a reasonable price for this unit would be ~100 USD (This would include retailers margin as well). If we were to double that, and give iRiver a HUGE profit, I would still call that reasonable because as someone mentioned before, options for good small DAC/AMP are limited.
At a MSRP of over 300 USD, iRiver's margin's are well over 150 USD per unit. I call this overpriced and unreasonable. Especially for something that is not "perfect".
Also, you cannot compare this unit to the AK100.
The AK100 is a DAP and is FAR more complicated to manufacture as well as develop. The development of the S/W and F/W is considerably more time consuming as is the after sales support; i.e. Firmware updates.
Furthermore, taking away a screen and storage should reduce the price by MORE than 50%. These two "simple" things take up more than 70% of the BOM cost and development of S/W and F/W hasn't even been amortized into it.
AK10 is not 50% of a AK100; its more like 30%.
While yes, I know the Fostex and Cypher Labs products all cost quite a bit more than the AK10, I believe that these warrant the price, as to me, these sound much better!
Anyways, this is just my opinion and I'm sure it will not win me many friends here.