During Apple's fourth fiscal quarter financial results conference, Tim Cook (CEO of the company) said that the iPad mini was Apple's lowest-margin product. Only the company is aware of the exact numbers related to the cost of manufacturing each product, but some others always try to estimate how much each one costs. This is exactly what IHS iSuppli did.
According to AllThingsD, the manufacture of the 16GB iPad mini Wi-Fi costs Apple $ 188. Taking that number into account, Cupertino's firm profits $ 141 (43%) each time it sells a 16.9-inch 7.9-inch tablet. The 32GB model costs the company $ 15.50 more, while the 64GB model adds an additional $ 46.50 to the initial $ 188, bringing the company's profit margins to 52% and 56% respectively.
It is worth mentioning, however, that this number is not accurate, since the estimate * does not * cover marketing, delivery costs, among many others related to the development / manufacture / sale of a device like this.
Taking into account the history of Apple (very high profit margins) and using these numbers as a basis, it is clear why Apple did not put a Retina display on the device. It is also easy to see that it was impossible for the basic iPad mini to cost around $ 250, as many of us want.
For more information on suppliers of each of the iPad mini parts, be sure to check the disassembly of the device.