iPhone 4S breakdown estimates same $188 cost as iPhone 4

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new teardown analysis of the iPhone 4S claims that the parts for the 16GB version of Apple's iPhone 4S cost $188, or just 50 cents more than the iPhone 4.



As noted by AllThingsD, IHS iSuppli conducted the breakdown to arrive at this year's numbers. The bill of materials for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB iPhone 4S models estimates costs of $188, $207 and $245, respectively. iSuppli's estimate for the 16GB iPhone 4 last year was $187.51.



According to the report, the iPhone 4S's dual-core A5 processor costs $15, while the new dual-mode Qualcomm chip brings the cost of the cellular chipset to around $14 to $15.



German chipmaker Infineon, purchased by Intel last year, lost out on the iPhone 4S. Since its baseband processor has been replaced by Qualcomm's offerings, the company now appears to have just one small part in Apple's new handset.



?It?s almost like Apple threw them a bone with a 50-cent part after they lost a much more high profile chip that cost about $10,? said analyst Andrew Rassweiler.







The 8-megapixel camera is believed to cost $17.60, though Rassweiler noted that tracing the part back to its supplier has proved difficult. A previous teardown discovered a Sony sensor, but Largan and Omnivision are also listed as potential suppliers.



The firm also discovered in the course of its breakdown that, at least for the model it had, Apple went with Hynix for its flash memory. It has been speculated that, due to its complicated legal dispute with Samsung, Apple has begun shifting component orders away from the South Korean electronics giant.



However, Samsung appears to continue to be the manufacturer for the A5 processor. ?The markings are the same as what we saw in the iPad 2,? Rassweiler noted. The A5 may have helped Apple to cut down on the number of chips in its new smartphone, as noise-cancellation processing previously handled by a separate chip has been moved to the A5.



It should be noted, however, that Apple itself has derided the credibility of third-party BOMs.



"Let me begin by suggesting that you don?t put a lot of credence in these third-party reports that you see. It?s always amazing to me the cost categories and the components that never seem to make it into the reports," Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said last year when asked about the cost structure of the iPhone 4.



Also, iSuppli's estimates don't take into account business costs such as research and development, shipping and marketing.



The iPhone 4S is off to a fantastic start, selling a record 4 million in its first weekend of availability. Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Tuesday that the device's launch was better than the company's "wildest dreams."



In fact, the handset is selling so well that the Cupertino, Calif., company is now requiring that potential in-store buyers make reservations online. Currently, all iPhone 4S models are listed with shipping estimates of 1-2 weeks on Apple's online store.



An earlier teardown of the iPhone 4S revealed a larger battery and the new baseband chip.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 988member
    As we all know R&D is free
  • Reply 2 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    As we all know R&D is free



    Yep, as well as manufacturing, employees, shipping, retail, warranty support....
  • Reply 2 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    As we all know R&D is free



    As is software, packaging, shipping, support and advertising.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    As we all know R&D is free



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post


    Yep, as well as manufacturing, employees, shipping, retail, warranty support....



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post


    As is software, packaging, shipping, support and advertising.



    ITT: People justifying their purchases.



    The same goes with every other smart phone. Of course more goes into it than just parts. The overall profit margin for Apple is probably relatively high though
  • Reply 5 of 37
    Don't forget all the cell phone patent cost they have to pay other companies.
  • Reply 6 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post


    ITT: People justifying their purchases.



    The same goes with every other smart phone. Of course more goes into it than just parts. The overall profit margin for Apple is probably relatively high though



    No where in those posts did I see anyone saying that other phone's don't require any of the things they listed. They are just pointing out that if you are going to estimate the cost of an iPhone, or any other phone for that matter, you need to take into account more than just hardware.
  • Reply 7 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post






    An earlier teardown of the iPhone 4S revealed a larger battery.



    Still the battery is worse than the Iphone 4's one.
  • Reply 8 of 37
    You guys keep coming up with stuff they have to pay for, but if you're selling 20 million in a quarter and your profit margin was only $100, that is 2 billion dollars. All that stuff is welllllll covered when you multiply that by 4 or 5. The point is they could make a huge profit at $499 for the lower model and then add increments of $50.



    But ultimately the higher the price actually makes the item more attractive to a lot of people, as most will then value it more, hence making it more appealing, even if it isn't worth it. Lots and lots of places do this, just no one does it as well in consumer electronics.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    Just picked up my iPhone 4S from Rogers (carrier in Canada). Was told that demand was half as strong as last year. Shorter lineups at Apple stores too. I guess most of the 4M sold were in the US.
  • Reply 10 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post


    Just picked up my iPhone 4S from Rogers (carrier in Canada). Was told that demand was half as strong as last year. Shorter lineups at Apple stores too. I guess most of the 4M sold were in the US.



    If only that were so. I haven't been able to get one (for Sprint) in stores. Verizon seems to have the most availability with AT&T in 2nd place.



    I'm sure this varies by market, but I'd suspect Sprint has the biggest stock issue, due to having just added the phone to its lineup.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tweak155 View Post


    You guys keep coming up with stuff they have to pay for, but if you're selling 20 million in a quarter and your profit margin was only $100, that is 2 billion dollars. All that stuff is welllllll covered when you multiply that by 4 or 5. The point is they could make a huge profit at $499 for the lower model and then add increments of $50.



    But ultimately the higher the price actually makes the item more attractive to a lot of people, as most will then value it more, hence making it more appealing, even if it isn't worth it. Lots and lots of places do this, just no one does it as well in consumer electronics.



    They're pointing out how absurd it is to price out costs of the internals as if the rest is clean profit by Apple or any other corporation selling a smart phone, computer, etc.
  • Reply 12 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    As we all know R&D is free



    Well, Samsung seems to believe that.
  • Reply 13 of 37
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    As we all know R&D is free



    Yeah, I wonder how much Siri adds to each iPhone 4S.
  • Reply 14 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post


    Still the battery is worse than the Iphone 4's one.



    The 4S battery was reported to have a slightly larger capacity than the 4's. The 4S however has shorter battery life because the 4S components use more power.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post


    The 4S battery was reported to have a slightly larger capacity than the 4's. The 4S however has shorter battery life because the 4S components use more power.



    Though surprisingly lower in WiFi data usage and longer in '3G' talk time usage. I'd have expected those two to be switched.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Yeah, I wonder how much Siri adds to each iPhone 4S.



    Interesting question.



    Well, it cost Apple $100M to buy Siri, so amortized over 100M phones that would be $1. But considering the continuing R&D by Apple after the acquisition (described as "one of the largest groups at Apple") we can speculate costs to date of X2, or $200M, or $2 per phone. So if iPhones retail for 4X the hardware costs, and the same holds true for software, perhaps we are actually paying $8 for Siri.



    Not including a significant fraction of the cost of that NC data center where all the AI processing likely occurs. That could easily add another $200M for a total price to us of $16.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post


    Interesting question.



    Well, it cost Apple $100M to buy Siri, so amortized over 100M phones that would be $1. But considering the continuing R&D by Apple after the acquisition (described as "one of the largest groups at Apple") we can speculate costs to date of X2, or $200M, or $2 per phone. So if iPhones retail for 4X the hardware costs, and the same holds true for software, perhaps we are actually paying $8 for Siri.



    Not including a significant fraction of the cost of that NC data center where all the AI processing likely occurs. That could easily add another $200M for a total price to us of $16.



    Speaking of Siri after using it for a day setting up a family member's iPhone 4S (and updating their iPad from iOS 4.0.1, and iMac to Lion from Leopard which was a lot harder than you might image) I found myself using my iPhone 4 to talk to Voice Control in natural language. It's amazing how tech never wanted or seriously thought of outside sci-fi can so quickly feel so natural and even a necessity so quickly. I can't wait to order my iPhone 4S on November 16th. Gonna be a long month.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post


    Just picked up my iPhone 4S from Rogers (carrier in Canada). Was told that demand was half as strong as last year. Shorter lineups at Apple stores too. I guess most of the 4M sold were in the US.



    "Carly Suppa, a spokesman for Rogers Communications Inc., said Tuesday that some of its stores are out of iPhone 4S handsets. "Customers looking for specific models are best to check with their local store to see what is in stock," she said."



    http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/ip...tighten/144150
  • Reply 19 of 37
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,232member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I found myself using my iPhone 4 to talk to Voice Control in natural language. It's amazing how tech never wanted or seriously thought of outside sci-fi can so quickly feel so natural and even a necessity so quickly.



    The natural language aspect is great isn't it? It's rather humorous how it gets derided as "just another implementation" of voice control. Detractors don't seem to appreciate that it's a decidedly different approach to a computer parsing your speech for specific, predetermined phrases.



    Siri is here to stay for the simple reason that it is easily the fastest way to input calendar events and set up reminders. I can't wait until the location-based stuff works outside the US though.
  • Reply 20 of 37
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dunks View Post


    The natural language aspect is great isn't it? It's rather humorous how it gets derided as "just another implementation" of voice control. Detractors don't seem to appreciate that it's a decidedly different approach to a computer parsing your speech for specific, predetermined phrases.



    Siri is here to stay for the simple reason that it is easily the fastest way to input calendar events and set up reminders. I can't wait until the location-based stuff works outside the US though.



    It's great, convenient and much faster than finding apps and typing in data for simple things, but I did find that putting in reminders to pick up certain items when I arrive at the grocery store was ineffective. I'd first have to input the name of the grocer store into contacts. Not a big deal, but I don't want to have to manually input hundreds of business addresses into my Contacts just to make Siri's location-based Reminders more complete. I'd love for it to know where I've been and use that data to make assumptions about what name_of_grocery_store I am referring. It's clever enough in so many areas that I think this type of understanding will eventually arrive.



    Oh, another really fast use is as a calculator. it can figure a tip before you could access the Calc app. Just like Google, Bing, even Spotlight in Mac OS X can do, but with voice and a simple statement it's that much easier and more natural.
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