BoM for 32-GB iPhone 4S estimated at $203

BoM for 32-GB iPhone 4S estimated at $203

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

The $203 estimate includes an estimated cost of $26 for the smartphone’s Apple A5 processor and $31 for the Retina display, described by Apple to be the highest-resolution phone screen ever. UBM TechInsights concluded that the iPhone 4S will achieve the same healthy profit margin that Apple has garnered from previous iPhones.

"Technology-wise, you aren’t seeing anything revolutionary or unexpected from the iPhone 4S," said Jeffrey Brown, vice president of business intelligence at UBM TechInsights. "As we predicted in July, the iPhone 4S is a moderate improvement over the iPhone 4—featuring an A5 processor that has been in use for approximately nine months, an image sensor that puts the handset on par with its competitors and improved battery life."The iPhone 4S, introduced by Apple at a press event here Tuesday (Oct. 4), features Apple’s dual-core A5 processor, a new camera with advanced optics, full 1080p high-definition resolution video recording and an intelligent assistant feature called Siri, according to Apple. It will be available Oct. 14 in the U.S. for $199 for a 16-GB model, $299 for a 32-GB model adn $399 for a 64-GB model.

The handset will be roll out in more than 22 countries worldwide by the end of October, according to the company. Apple was widely expected to launch iPhone 5, an entirely new model supporting 4G. Instead, the company introduced iPhone 4S, an incremental update of iPhone 4. According to market research firm IHS iSuppli, Apple is likely to introduce an LTE-capable iPhone 5 when an affordable chipset solution allowing a thinner form factor is available, likely in late 2012 or in mid-2013.

"As Apple always does, the company selected features for the iPhone 4 that are designed to deliver a superior customer experience, rather than to provide technology for technology’s sake," said Francis Sideco, senior principal analyst for wireless communications at IHS, in a statement. "Because of this, Apple declined to offer an LTE-enabled iPhone that would have been more expensive, larger and more power hungry—and instead opted to introduce a device that delivers nearly the same wireless data speed, but with a superior user experience."

David Carey, vice president of technical intelligence at UBM TechInsights, said he believes Apple’s decision not to introduce an LTE iPhone was related to the slow adoption of LTE. AT&T, the iPhone’s original carrier, has yet to introduce 4G networks to customers, he said. According to UBM TechInsights, the introduction of the iPhone 4S across GSM and CDMA networks in a singular design was alluded to in the introduction of the Verizon model of the iPhone 4. 

"When the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 was brought to market, it featured a Qualcomm baseband modem that was capable of working across both networks," Brown said. "This was the single biggest indicator that Apple was moving towards a ‘world phone’ that would reduce design times and production costs. There would no longer be the need to produce two phones for different carriers to choose from. We expect the new antenna design to be very similar to what we saw in the CDMA version of the iPhone 4."

Carey said Tuesday’s iPhone 4S announcement was "par for the course" for Apple. "Just as we saw a modest technology bump from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3GS, Apple is adopting the same model of iterative improvement and incrementalism as they gear up for the iPhone 5 platform," Carey said.  UBM TechInsights plans to conduct a comprehensive teardown analysis of the iPhone 4S when they hit stores Oct. 14. Information about the teardown of the original iPhone 4 is available on the firm’s website.

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