After tearing the iPhone 4 to bits, research outfit iSuppli estimates the handset's parts to cost about $188, or $187.51 to be precise. That figure is for the 16GB model and doesn't include costs associated with manufacturing, research and development, logistics or advertising. Unsurprisingly, the most expensive component in the new iPhone is its high-resolution "retina display," which runs about $28.50.
In all, the latest numbers are similar to what we've seen for previous iPhones, and iSuppli believes this is because Apple is targeting the same budget. The 3GS was estimated to cost $179 in materials, but considering features like the upgraded screen, the new A4 processor ($10.75), a gyroscope ($2.60) and other additions, the iPhone 4's extra $8.5 seems perfectly reasonable.
At retail, the iPhone 4 costs $199 (16GB) and $299 (32GB) when paired with a two-year data plan from AT&T, or $499 and $599 for unsubsidized units. Steve Jobs has called it the most successful product launch in Apple's history, with 1.7 million units shipped in three days. By comparison, the company sold 1 million 3GS' in the same timeframe.