A lot less than $799 asking price that’s for sure. The swave new iPhone 4S 32GB is worth just AU$175, according to researchers IHS iSuppli, in spite of charging a whopping AU$899 to buy the smartphone (outright) from Apple Store. The 16GB costs $182 wile 64GB cost a little more to make – just over $240.
The tech researchers, who took the phone apart and calculated the cost of each component individually developed a breakdown that looks something like this (based on US conversion rates):
3.5″ LCD (960X640) Touchscreen/display AU$35, camera $17, user interface $6.60 and main circuit boards $14.58. The camera worth just over $17 uses a backside illumination (BSI) image sensor that improves photo quality, especially in low light, but also adds cost to the system,” according to IHS research notes.
“Sony was the supplier of the image sensor in the individual model torn down by IHS, but Apple likely is using a secondary source for this device: OmniVision.”
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Oh, and the iPhone 4S Li-lon Polymer battery, which has been subject to a barrage of complaints from 4S users, is worth just $5.70.
Manufacturing costs on each 4S are just over $7, say the researchers.
The startling raw costs of 4S means Apple are charging four times what the phone costs to make in the case of 32GB model, although this does not include R&D, marketing and distribution costs.
Apple made monster profits of $6.62bn in its latest quarter, and revenue sky rocketing 39% to $28.27bn and climbing gross margins.
And it expects revenues to grow further on the strength of new iPhone 4S in its next fiscal quarter of 2012 to $37 billion. and little wonder with manufacturing costs like this.
Apple’s 4S also includes custom parts from Avago, “that helps give the iPhone 4S its unique capability to be used in multiple wireless systems globally, while still keeping costs down,” notes Andrew Rassweiler, IHS iSupli senior director.
“While the iPhone 4S shares many common design elements with the two iPhone 4 models already on the market, the new device’s status as a world phone has resulted in fascinating design and component changes,” according to iSuppli.
And it appears the iPhone 4S processor is made by arch enemy Samsung, who are currently looking to ban the smartphone here in Australia.
“Just as with the A4 used in the iPhone 4, the part appears to be manufactured by Samsung, based on die markings on the product,” says the research note.
Under the cover the 4S is different to original iPhone 4, it appears, despite Apple’s insistance otherwise:
“While much of the coverage of Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4S announcement focused on the new device’s similarity to the iPhone 4, an IHS analysis of the product illustrates key changes in the product’s feature set and component selection,” according to the researchers.
But its not all bad and there are some positive differences with new model:
“Important differences include a major upgrade to the apps processor, the use of a higher-resolution and more advanced camera module, and the addition of a new cellular radio that makes the iPhone 4S a true world phone,” according to Wayne Lam, senior analyst at IHS.