A couple of weeks ago, it was discovered that SpaceX was likely paying much more to manufacture Starlink user terminals than it was charging users. Now, it looks like Business Insider has confirmed this assumption.
According to Business Insider, they were told that SpaceX had signed an agreement a few years ago with STMicroelectronics to manufacture the user terminals. This was said to them by an anonymous source who knew about the contract.
The source stated, “the production agreement specifies 1 million terminals at a price of roughly $2,400 each. The original timeline for that production run was end-2019, but it has been extended.” The source also claimed that STM had agreed to absorb costs associated with non-recoverable engineering or factory setup.
With the cost to manufacture a single Starlink user terminal at $2,400, that would mean that SpaceX is taking a $1,900 hit for each one sold as they only cost the user $500.
Business Insider attempted to reach out to both SpaceX and STM regarding the matter; neither company agreed to comment. A statement from STM read, “STM will not comment on who is — or isn’t — a customer or on any agreements we may or may not have with them.”
Then today, a YouTube video uploaded by user Kenneth Keiter lent credit to the STM manufacturing claim. In the video, Keiter did a teardown of a Starlink user terminal, which revealed that many of the components had STM branding.
The anonymous source said that SpaceX at one point had intentions to build its own user terminal production line in 2019. This obviously never came to fruition, and it isn’t known if it ever will at this point. Either way, users are getting an amazing deal on Starlink users terminals for now.
Via Business Insider