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Apple's iPhones Teardown Reveals $199 Build Cost for 5S and $173 for 5C

Sep 25 2013, 5:59am CDT | by , in News | Apple

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Apple's iPhones Teardown Reveals $199 Build Cost for 5S and $173 for 5C

After the two new Apple iPhones were deconstructed their price range was revealed. It amounted to $199 for the low-end 16GB iPhone 5S and at least $173 for the low cost iPhone 5C.

The dollars spent by Apple to build the components for the iPhone 5S and 5C have been found to be close to the price of the iPhone 5. Teardown of iPhone 5S 16GB model shown $191 build cost for the smartphone and $167 to $176 for iPhone 5C. It just takes $8 more to assemble the iPhone 5S. In case of the iPhone 5C it took $7 more. Hence low end iPhone 5S build cost is found $199 and iPhone 5C build cost is in bwtween $173 to $183.

When the iPhones were deconstructed (reverse engineered) it was found contrary to expectations that all of them were pretty much the same inside. The memory upgrade from 16 GB to 64 GB cost $19 in case of components. It took $8 to assemble the stuff. As for the display devices inside the shell, they cost a whopping $41. They come from display makers such as: Sharp, Japan Display Incorporated and LG Display.

The polycarbonate cover also cut costs by a significant amount. Instead of the aluminum casing of the iPhone 5, the colorful plastic shell of the iPhone 5C made a huge difference in price. While the iPhone 5S is an evolution-wise progressive gadget when compared to the iPhone 5, it basically differs from the latter by a few additions.

These are the fingerprint authentication device, the A7 processor and a couple of memory chips. The full build cost of the iPhone 5S hovers between $199 and $218. As for the iPhone 5, it took $205 as far as the assembly of its components is concerned. It is the microchips that Apple really concentrated all its efforts on. They come from several sources such as: Qualcomm, Skyworks, Avago, RF Micro Devices and TriQuint Semiconductor. 

These findings are revealed by IHS. IHS analyst Andrew Rassweiler, who did this teardown, told AllThingsD that the differences between iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C are surprisingly few. He said, “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. 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.” 

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