Apple’s latest iPhone costs between $207 and $238 to manufacture, depending on how much memory is included, according to a physical teardown report released Tuesday by market researcher IHS iSuppli that takes into consideration both the cost of materials and manufacturing of the smartphones. With a wireless contract, they cost between $199 and $399, (or between $649 and $849 without).
The costs varies mainly due to cheaper NAND flash memory–which was supplied by SanDisk, rather than Samsung as on the iPhone 4S– and the use of a more expensive radio chip needed to use 4G LTE wireless networks.
Each 16-gigabyte iPhone 5 cost $207 in parts and labor to build, iSuppli says, up $11 from the $196 that the market researcher estimated for the iPhone 4, due mainly to that 4G LTE chipset and a more expensive touch-screen display. The price of NAND flash memory on the phone dropped to $10.40 from $19.20.
On the high end, iSuppli believes the 64-gigabyte iPhone 5 cost $238 to build, down from $253 to make the previous version. The decline stems almost entirely from less expensive flash memory–it cost $41.60 on the iPhone 5 compared with $76.80 on the iPhone 4S.
Despite their recent legal skirmish and dropping use of its memory chips, it appears that Apple still relies on its competing smartphone maker Samsung for a key part of the iPhone: The A6 processor, which iSuppli believes cost $17.50 to make. iSuppli’s estimates, which include an $8 manufacturing cost but exclude things like software, licensing, and royalties, confirm what the market researcher had predicted in a virtual teardown last week.
10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024
Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.
Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.
Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.
AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024
Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.
OpenAI teases an amazing new generative video model called Sora
The firm is sharing Sora with a small group of safety testers but the rest of us will have to wait to learn more.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.