According the findings of an IHS report coming tomorrow (but shared with AllThingsD today), Apple spends at least $191 on components to build a 16 gigabyte iPhone 5s. The cost rises to $210 for a 64GB unit. The cost of assembly adds another $8 per unit, bringing the range to between $199 and $218. That cost estimate is pretty close to that of the original iPhone 5, which IHS pegged at about $205 last year. Without a contract, the iPhone sells at prices ranging from $649 to $849, depending on storage capacity.
The iPhone 5c is estimated to cost about $173 to $183 to build, including $7 for assembly.
IHS analyst Andrew Rassweiler says the devices are surprisingly similar.
“I would say that they’re almost the same phone, except that the 5s has the fingerprint sensor, the A7 processor and some newer memory chips that consume less power. Beyond that, they’re basically the same,” he said.
He also highlighted Apple's efforts to support multiple cellular technologies.
“Apple seems to be spending a lot of time and money combining RF chips,” he said. “Where other phone companies would be using whatever chips its various vendors sell off-the-shelf, Apple seems to be pushing its RF suppliers to do things they don’t do for anyone else.”
“The iPhone 5 supported no more than five LTE bands. The 5s and 5c can support as many as 13, and that’s unique,” he said. “Unlike other phone designers, Apple has spent a lot of time collaborating with the RF chip companies to find novel solutions that its competitors don’t have.”
Other notable findings include:
● $41 for parts associated with the display
● $32 for RF chips
● $7 for the fingerprint sensor
● $19 for A7
● $13 for A6
● LPDDR3 RAM for iPhone 5s, LPDDR2 RAM for iPhone 5c