An analysis by IHS says the manufacturing cost of the recently launched Apple iPhone 5c is around $166.
According to preliminary results from the Teardown Analysis Service at IHS, the low-end model of Apple’s iPhone 5c with 16 GB of NAND flash memory carries a bill of materials (BOM) of $166, based on a physical dissection of the production. The cost rises to $173 when the $7 manufacturing expense is added in. The 32-GB model carries a combined cost of $183.
While this is considerably less than the $197 BOM and manufacturing cost for the original 16-GB iPhone 5 based on the final results of the IHS teardown conducted one year ago.
To attain the cost and pricing required to merit low-end pricing of $400, while maintaining Apple’s customary high hardware margin, the combined BOM and manufacturing expense for the iPhone 5c would have had to amount to about $130.
“The iPhone 5c is basically an iPhone 5 in a plastic disguise,” said Andrew Rassweiler, senior director, cost benchmarking services for IHS.
The display module in the 5c carries a cost of $41, down 7 percent from $44 one year ago.
The biggest difference between the iPhone 5c and the original iPhone 5 lies in the radio frequency (RF) transceiver, which has been updated to support more 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) bands. The 5c uses Qualcomm’s WTR1605L RF transceiver, which supports up to seven simultaneous LTE connections during operations. The iPhone 5 used the older RTR8600L RF transceiver, also from Qualcomm, that supported only up to five active LTE bands.