updated 02:40 am EST, Sat January 9, 2010
OLED, 1GHz chip no great damage to price
The HTC-made Google Nexus One may not cost any more than an iPhone 3GS to make, iSuppli has revealed in a preliminary cost teardown. Based on the components either known or believed to be part of the design, the researchers estimate the phone's raw parts cost $174, or $5 less than the $179 16GB iPhone 3GS did when new. The lower cost comes despite a potentially faster processor, a larger and AMOLED-based touchscreen as well as more RAM.
iSuppli estimates the lower price partly due to included flash memory. Although most of the components are more advanced, the inclusion of just a 4GB removable microSDHC card contrasts sharply against the 16GB minimum built-in storage on the latest iPhone.
The bill of materials, which doesn't include assembly, marketing or sales, notably gives Google much of the same in terms of subsidies as Apple but distinctly better hardware. However, it may prove positive for Apple as the company could potentially build an iPhone as good or better than the Nexus One without facing excessive price increases; Apple normally charges a higher retail price and could also stand to wide then gap further.