its not all profit...my guess is they probably make about 25% profit which is not out of line with most speciality markets. As an investor, I would love/expect to see this type of returns on med to hi risk technology sector industry. (I consider PJ a high risk technology).
But keep in mind, that Manufacturing process costs a lot of money, especially for low volume markets. Equipment cost is probably one of the biggest costs and materials (gases, high quality glass) is probably very expensive, transportations of those materials, HR personal, facilities, electricity, closely followed by the $25 per hour technicians (including benefits), and then you overheads - this is profit, R&D, sales, and marketing.
Of that $160
Profits 20% ($32)
Overheads(SR&AP) 10% ($16) - actually I think R&D costs in this sector are fairly high. But I'd need to look at a financial report of the actual bulb makerss. The R&D costs also help lower costs and increase brightness for the future :)
People (assume it takes 2 people 30 minutes each to make one) ($25)
That leaves $87 to cover material costs including transportation and packaging, equipment depreciation, rent, electricity, and the BIGGEST VARIABLE THAT WILL DRIVE ALL THESE COSTS UP IS PURELY VOLUME.
My guess is that the biggest variable is low volumes is what's driving these costs. Because the machine that makes these bulbs is probably easily $500,000 if not more. Now divide this by the project life and volume. Project life is typically short with new projectors, and volume is also small.
And don't disregard profit, because it is what makes tomorrow turn. This is why we have a job tomorrow because of these profits.
Finally, the lower prices probably won't increase volumes of PJ sold. Most people probably don't by PJ because of the cost of the PJ - the entry cost, not the bulbs. So simply lowering costs on bulbs, won't be offset by additional sales. But that's my guess because $160 divided by 1000 hours is $0.16 per hour on a bulb. Its pretty small compared to the initial cost of the PJ.
Its like owning an BMW. Don't expect just to pay your monthly loan payments, budget for maintainance that will cost you an arm and a leg. So don't expect to buy a projector without budgeting for the bulbs :D