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iPhone 3G S Costs Apple Almost $179 To Build

Joseph F. Kovar
3G

The total manufacturing cost of $178.96 for the iPhone 3G S with 16 GB of memory includes a BOM (bill of materials) cost of $172.46 and an assembly cost of $6.50, according to the Teardown Analysis Service of El Segundo, Calif.-based iSuppli.

That compares to a total cost of $174.33 to build the company's original 8-GB iPhone 3G, which iSuppli said was its estimate last July.

iSuppli earlier this month also broke down the estimated cost of the key components in the new Palm Pre.

The iPhone 3G S lists for $199, the same as the iPhone 3G when it was first released. Service providers who sell the iPhones to customers depend on monthly subscriptions for their profits.

The main differences featurewise between the two models is the iPhone 3G S' 3-megapixel camera, compared to the 2-megapixel camera included in the iPhone 3G. The iPhone 3G S also includes a digital compass.

Toshiba is the main supplier to Apple in terms of share of the cost of materials.

The company supplies 16 GB of NAND flash memory, which costs Apple about $24. It also provides the iPhone 3G S' 3.5-inch, 16-million color, 320-x-480 pixel display at a cost to Apple of about $19.25, as well as a touch-screen assembly, which costs Apple about $16, iSuppli said.

The application processor in the iPhone 3G S is an ARM core from Samsung, for which Apple pays about $14.46. Samsung also provides 2 GB of SDRAM for an estimated $8.50.

Infineon is the supplier for both the ARM-based baseband communications processor and the 3-megapixel camera module, which cost Apple an estimated $13 and $9.55 respectively, iSuppli said.

Infineon also provides the RF transceiver at $2.80, the GPS receiver at $2.25 and the RF power IC at $1.25.

The Bluetooth capability comes from a single-chip Broadcom product for which Apple pays an estimated $5.95, iSuppli said.

STMicroelectronics and AKM are new suppliers to the iPhone 3G S. STMicroelectronics provides the accelerometer and AKM the electronic compass.

A more complete breakdown of the costs of the iPhone 3G S by iSuppli's Teardown Analysis Service can be found by clicking here.

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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