Apple iPhone 5s production costs $191: IHS

iPhone 5s manufacturing cost

The cost of producing Apple iPhone 5s is $191, according to an analysis by IHS.

IHS says the low-end version of the iPhone 5s with 16 GB of NAND flash memory has a bill of materials (BOM) of $191.

When the $8 manufacturing expense is added in, the cost rises to $199. The compares to a $197 total cost for the original iPhone 5, based on the completed IHS teardown analysis from one year ago.

“The iPhone 5s features a 64-bit apps processor, low-power Double Data Rate 3 (LPDDR3) DRAM, and a novel fingerprint sensor—features that have never before been seen in a smartphone,” said Andrew Rassweiler, senior director, cost benchmarking services for IHS.

Although other smartphones have included 64-bit graphics processors, the 5s is the first model with a 64-bit applications processor.

The processor also boosts the performance of the iPhone 5s’s camera, allowing 120 frame-per-second (FPS) video and 10 FPS photo capture. This design change will likely set the stage for 64-bit processors to be used in upcoming Apple products, including new models of the iPad, the Apple TV and even MacBook Air PCs.

The 64-bit processor is part of the Apple-designed A7 apps processor, based on a core from ARM Holdings plc. The new 64-bit processor core is called Cyclone, as opposed to the 32-bit version used in the iPhone 5 and 5c, known as Swift.

The A7 used in the iPhone 5s costs $19—significantly higher than the A6 used in the original iPhone 5 and 5c, which currently carries a cost of $13.

The user-interface segment of the 5s, which includes the fingerprint scanner, costs $15. This compares to $8 for the user interface for the 5c, which has no fingerprint scanner.

iPhone 5s manufacturing cost

Another major difference between the iPhone 5s and the original iPhone 5 lies in the RF transceiver, which has been updated to support more 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) bands. Like the iPhone 5c, the 5s uses Qualcomm’s WTR1605L RF Transceiver, which supports up to seven simultaneous LTE connections during operations. The original iPhone 5 utilizes the older RTR8600L RF transceiver, also from Qualcomm, which supported only five active LTE bands.

One of the biggest-ticket items in the iPhone 5s gets no change: the display and touch-screen subsystem. Maintaining the same specification and the same suppliers for the panels as the iPhone 5 has helped Apple hold the line on its hardware costs for the 5s.

NAND flash has also not made any significant advances with the 5s, and the amount of the memory content in the phone remains the same.

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