Originally Posted by RichL
R&D is nowhere near the same. The software might be standard but the hardware isn't. The constant revisions of the antenna shows just how complex making a cell phone is compared to a portable media player.
Testing is far higher too. Take a look at the 3GPP specs some time. We're talking 10,000 pages of technical specifications at a bare minimum. Now imagine each country's wireless regular doing its own testing plus every major carrier. Apple has to conform to these specs. It's a nightmare, especially when countries and carriers don't always agree on the interpretation of these specifications.
None of this adds to the cost of the particular phone. Its all R&D not broken out per phone, as pointed out already. And since Apple's R&D is 2% of their entire costs, they can take it. Also, other companies can do it, why not APple?
And the Antenna? That was specifically a new design for the iP4. It was a clever design which went a bit wrong, experimentation of that level is not needed for lower end models.
And you just have to look at Apple's current spat with Nokia to tell you all you need to know about the cost of licensing.
What do you think the cost of licencing is per phone?
Radio chip, antenna, larger battery, better camera optics...
If the iPhone could be sold at iPod touch + $40 prices, it already would be. The iPhone is already sold off contract direct from Apple in the UK. The iPhone 4 sells for £612. That's £358 more than the equivalent iPod touch.
Yes, and as we pointed out the component prices are about the same. The iPhone 4's £358 more is markup, and it is the reason why Android took leadership this year. And it doesnt need the larger battery or the better camera. It doesnt need a camera, in fact. That could be one of the ways to reduce prices on a low end model, and encourage people to get the higher one. The radio chip and antenna costs are < $20.
You might want to check my location, buddy. The iPhone's penetration is higher is countries where carriers are allowed to subsidize phones.
And that penetration is lower than it would be with cheaper phones. Obviously the iPhone is expensive, so without carrier subsidise it is not going to sell. The top model will always be expensive, the bottom entry level model doesnt have to be.
In any case we know
Apple are looking into this.