iPhone 4S costs $196 to build

If you’re the sort of person who looks at your expensive handset and thinks “How much does this thing REALLY cost?”, then you might be interested to know that the price of building your iPhone 4S rings in at $196. More than a used Nintendo Wii, but less than a night out for sushi with your friends in Manhattan. However, considering the huge price tag of the phone you might raise an eyebrow and wonder where that extra money goes.

IHS iSupply took the 16 GB iPhone 4S apart and did a little inventory of its guts. The price tag of the parts themselves is $188, but the assembly fee for each unit is estimated at roughly $8 to the BOM (TIL “BOM” means “Bill of Materials”), which includes flash memory, DRAM, processor, antennas, battery and sensor. Interestingly, the 4S only costs a mere $0.50 more than its predecessor, the iPhone 4, and the 32 and 64 GB 4S models cost the same as the 16 GB model, apart from the additional memory. The cost doesn’t include software, licensing or other expenditures associated with making and marketing a phone, so it’s not quite as much a dramatic example of inflation between cost and price as one might guess at first blush.

The teardown also revealed some interesting new components contained in the iPhone 4S, not in its predecessor. These include the redesigned cellular network antenna that IHS calles “unique” in its ability to support all carrier partner network technologies, when compared to the approach taken by most of Apple’s competitors.

Obviously you can’t just walk into your local Best Buy and pick up these parts, take them home, and slap together an iPhone. One of the ways that Apple manages to keep prices down is by ordering in quantity and, of course, ordering specifically-made parts which aren’t available for resale. Nevertheless, if you’re wondering where your iPhone 4S payment went, you can now account for $196 of it.

Source: IHS iSupply
Via: Gigaom

Corey has been been a tech journalist with a focus on Apple since 1998 and has written for The Loop, MacHome magazine, and as games contributor for The Mac Bible, and co-hosts the iGame Radio Podcast. He works as a… Full Bio