back to article Apple's iPhone 3G S: the $179 handset

It costs Apple roughly $3 more to make an iPhone 3G S than it does Palm to pump out a Pré, hardware analysis by market watcher iSuppli has revealed. iphone3gs_explode An expoded view of the iPhone 3G S Image courtesy of iSuppli Following a Bill of Materials (BoM) and manufacturing breakdown of the iPhone 3G S, iSuppli …


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  1. Ed


    Surely quantity (e.g the massive amount of Flash Apple buys) gives Apple an advantage?

  2. thommy

    $179 Phone wow

    If you really rather have a pre, buy it...... $600 for the first iphone was worth it... and there was an unexpected rebate! Now that the 2yr contract is ending on the iphone "600", $299 for a 3GS along with the available apps (SO MANY FREE OR $.99) make my day and the decision easy. At age 57 I'm not a gamer; my apps are age appropriate...hehe.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Not that surprising

    It's not that surprising that the BoM cost for an iPhone 3GS is similar to the BoM for a Palm Pre. They're phones with similar hardware features released at similar times.

    Apple's key differentiators are the software and service. Which are excluded from the BoM cost.

  4. darrin allen

    Apple 3G phones

    Apple has some great handsets.

  5. Chris C


    "It’s worth remembering, though, that Apple’s $179 BOM doesn’t include additional costs, such as software development, shipping, distribution and packaging."

    And, of course, enough marketing to ensure that every TV watcher knows that they are nothing without one.

    On a side note -- "One of the iPhone 3G S’ cheapest components is it GPS receiver, iSuppli discovered, which costs just $2.25." While I applaud the correct use of no "s" after the apostrophe (why do people nowadays insist on putting "s" after every apostrophe, such as "Chris's"?!?), you accidentally omitted the "s" after "it".

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A bit misleading

    “the 3G S hardware feature set is not much different from that of the 3G” is a bit misleading. Many of the parts are the same or similar, but the core stuff has been improved rather a lot.

    E.g. the CPU - it's only 200mhz (or 50%) faster, but it's a newer core, and probably double the speed. The GPU is a totally different beast - many times faster, but it also supports shaders so quality will go up a lot as well.

  7. Pabs

    In other words....

    typical Apple, cheap components, over priced retail!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what?

    I never understand the purpose of these tear downs. So what if the BOM phone costs is $179? I won't insult you by suggesting that you think it should be sold at that cost.

    Apple have to a employ a range of engineers and designers (hardware, software, ui, mechanical, manufacturing, quality) to design products just like everyone else. Not to mention the managers, marketeers accountants etc it takes to run the business.

    All you are telling me is that the cost of buying the metal for a Ferrari is the same cost as buying the metal for a Ford. What exactly is the point? If you could tell me how much it cost Apple to DESIGN a device versus Palm, Nokia or how much they spend on marketing etc then THAT would be interesting info.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Interesting article

    When you consider the iphone costs that much in dollars and due to the horrendous maths in America / England exchange rates and you get ridiculous prices quoted in the UK for an iphone.

    Or you are locked into O2 (Horrendous company from my experience) for a couple of years for the benefit of having one.

    Not that I can see a benefit, you can have all the $0.99 apps you like, itunes is not a selling point and the third incantation of the phone now has copy and paste, so as a busy phone it is pointless.

    Then again it doesn't run windows mobile 6. Which is a bigger bonus. :)

    I would like to see things like the HTC diamond2 and touch pro2 broken down in a similar manner.

  10. Antidisestablishmentarianist

    And the point is?

    I read this article expecting to find some conclusion at the end thus making it worth my time. I know us Reg readers are meant to be clever, but do we really have to draw our own conclusions?

    Iphone costs 9$ more than Pre

    I'm lazy - can you fill in the gaps please?

  11. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Compact Discs

    CDs are sold for for approx £10 yet the CD costs pence to make.

    So why aren't CDs £1 or less? oh yes, recording costs, wages, artist royalties etc..

  12. Anonymous Coward

    No Phone in iPhone?

    $60 for Screen, memory, CPU, GPS, so no mention of the phone then?!?!

    Given continued lack of HSUPA it"s a good job the camera only outputs 1MB files to upload.

    Perhaps this time we can hope for good receiver sensitivity (though we are clearly going to have to wait longer for sensible antenna placement i.e. not shielded behind your hand!), full 3GPP compliance and apps that echo BBs meagre battery and data requirements?

  13. Georgees

    O2 have sold out.

    I rang up to upgrade today to the 3gs from my 1st gen and they haven't got any 16gb ones in stock.

    Nor could they be more specific about when they'd have them in than some time this week.

    A little bit frustrating.

    Still, I have to admit I have broadband and my mobile phone with O2 and so far they are the best people I have used for both.

    Pretty much always have signal on the phone, and get a steady 20MB connection (for £3.95 after a load of cashback offers).

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