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Thursday, 13 September 2012 10:08

iPhone 5 16GB bill of materials estimated at $167.50

Written by Peter Scott

Quite a margin for Cupertino

Research outfit Techinsights puts the iPhone 5 bill-of-materials at $167.50 by TechInsights. The priciest component used in the new phone is the A6 processor, but this is why we take the estimate with a grain of salt – we still don’t know much about the new chip, so the $28 price listed in the estimate looks like a stab in the dark.

NAND cost for the 16GB unit is $9, but in keeping with tradition Apple will charge you quite a bit more for an additional 16GB or 48GB of storage.

Taking a ride to the past, Techinisghts now lists the iPhone 4 16GB BOM at just $112, while the 4S 16GB is estimated to have $132 worth of components under its sleek glass bonnet.

In spite of the new processor, bigger screen and LTE, Apple seems to have done a brilliant job in keeping costs down. In October last year, the iPhone 4S BOM was estimated at $188, while the iPhone 4 carried a BOM of $187 when it launched back in June 2010.

The iPhone 5 has the lowest BOM of any Retina iPhone to date, but the price tag has not changed. Of course, 32GB and 64GB units carry even higher margins and this time around the margins will be huge. Back in 2010, 16GB of NAND cost Apple an estimated $27 according to iSuppli. A year later the figure dropped to $19, according to the same source. This year it’s just $9, but Apple will still charge consumers $100 for a storage bump. Ouch.

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