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iPhone 4S teardown reveals 16GB unit carries $188 BOM

By Shawn Knight · 12 replies
Oct 20, 2011
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  1. Apple’s 16GB iPhone 4S carries a build of materials (BOM) of $188 before factoring in manufacturing costs. The analysis was performed by iSuppli, one of several teardown specialists that conduct…

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  2. I noticed that on the second paragraph that the words memory was mixed with storage. 32Gb of memory, although it makes my mouth water, does seem a bit much for a smart phone.
  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,839   +1,183

    it's a bummer the smartphone market doesn't work like the video game console market did back in 2005/2006. Back when Sony and Microsoft wanted to get the PS3 and Xbox into our homes they sold them for under the cost in order to get in the market with the plan that they'd make the money back on games.

    Knowing that a $200 iphone sells retail without a contract for what? $400? That's a huge markup. I know the carrier needs their cut, but you'd think for the promise of around $2000 over the next two years they'd drop the price of the phone another $50 - $100 or so to undercut the competition.

    No reason too though with people lining up to buy em....
  4. brianmsu

    brianmsu TS Enthusiast Posts: 27

    storage = non-volatile memory = memory

    Besides, Apple, Samsung, etc are going to market it all under one category anyway, so what difference does it make.

    Weakest grammar / typo correction ever.
  5. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    I think the markup on the 16GB verison isn't too bad, you have to factor in development, marketing and software costs. But charging $200 for extra flash memory which actually costs $57 more is pretty criminal. No wonder Apple doesn't allow micro SD cards in their phones.
  6. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    $400 for the non contract? Try $649. Yah, it's that bad.
  7. spydercanopus

    spydercanopus TS Evangelist Posts: 846   +102

    Cheapest slave, ever.
  8. Zecias

    Zecias TS Booster Posts: 202

    and $849 for the 64GB model, almost how much it cost for my desktop >.>
  9. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    You know what's the most hilarious thing? Back before the 4S the 32GB iPhone 4 was $769, the 32GB iPod Touch 4th Gen was $299. The only difference was the glass back on the iPhone and the iPhone having a radio built in for gps/cellular. So Apple basically charged $470 for the inclusion of a radio and a more fragile design. WHAT A GREAT DEAL!
  10. aj_the_kidd

    aj_the_kidd TS Rookie Posts: 555

    To play Apples advocate, like slh28 said, you do have to take into account software development, which i would imagine be quite allot, that being said the markup price is rather huge, but since its Apple, its not really a surprise
  11. Nobody force you to buy it. Besides everybody is doing similarly.

    There are hidden cost as well. Apple's PFO is merely 20%~30%. Try Wall street's 200%.
  12. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Yeah, not to mention all of the costs of actually having the product produced & shipped, R&D, advertising, technical support, signage and training for roll-outs to the Apple stores and carriers, future warranty repair and replacement... There are literally hundreds of thousands of costs that JUST build materials doesn't cover. Their profit isn't anywhere close to what is suggested by these teardowns.

    The price of the iPhone is not far out of alignment with the price of other phones (eg. Samsung Galaxy S II, Droid Bionic etc..), either subsidized or non-contract, especially if you take care to match up the competition with the same capacity (8-16GB).
  13. I believe that is "Bill of Materials" not Build of Materials. BOM

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