Although Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has stuck to its tight-lipped ways, most signs indicate that the first weekend of iPad sales went quite well, especially of its new 9.7 inch iPad Air.

Ipad Air


The seeming likelihood of strong sales for Apple's latest iPads is reason enough for investors to get excited; but there's also another cause for celebration.

According to research firm IHS iSuppli, the iPad Air also is substantially more profitable than its predecessor. According to the teardown experts, the iPad Air costs Apple $274 for parts and assembly for its lowest-cost model, approximately $42 less than the older iPad 3. And although the 14% cost difference might sound unimpressive, it has serious implications for the iPad Air's gross margin, which is around 50% -- well ahead of the iPad 3's 37% gross margin. 

This is fantastic news for Apple investors, especially leading into the all-important holiday quarter, as tech and telecom analyst Andrew Tonner explains in the video below.

Fool contributor Andrew Tonner owns shares of Apple. Follow Andrew and all his writing on Twitter at @AndrewTonnerThe Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.