updated 08:35 am EDT, Mon June 28, 2010
iPhone 4 costs more to make than iPhone 3GS
The iPhone 4 is Apple's most expensive ever phone to make short of the original phone itself, a price breakdown by iSuppli has found. A 16GB example costs about $187.51 in raw parts; the bill is less than the $223 of the 2007 original but more than the $173 iPhone 3G and the $178.96 iPhone 3GS. Most of that cost increase is attributed to the LG Display-built 960x640 IPS screen, which is estimated to cost $28.50 all by itself.
The next most expensive part is thought to be Apple's custom-designed, but Samsung manufactured, A4 processor, which could cost about $10.75. Adding a gyroscope from STMicro may have also hiked the price by $2.60 on top of the accelerometer. A front camera also influences the price, but its cost isn't yet known.
Other parts have been revealed by an earlier teardown and include its Broadcom Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chipsets, Skyworks cellular hardware and TriQuint. Broadcom has replaced Infineon for the chipset, and it's believed either TPK-Balda or Wintek made the touchscreen and glass.
None of the estimated cost includes marketing, research, shipping or other factors beyond the parts and assembly, suggesting that the actual cost to get the phone to a store and generate a profit is considerably higher. Apple normally charges $599 for a 16GB model and $699 for a 32GB model without a contract on AT&T.
The hike in part explains the lack of a capacity upgrade for the iPhone, which unlike in past years hasn't doubled its storage space.