Apple’s iPhone 5 16GB materials cost estimated at $167.50

“Driven by the new A6 processor, LTE 4G high-speed modem and Retina display with in-cell touch technology, the new iPhone 5 is estimated to cost Apple $167.50 in materials alone for the entry-level 16-gigabyte model,” Sam Oliver reports for AppleInsider.

“The numbers, published on Friday by UBM TechInsights, peg the cost of the new A6 chip at $28, making it the most expensive component in the new iPhone 5,” Oliver reports. “The new, larger 4-inch display was valued at $18, plus another $7.50 for the touchscreen and cover glass.”

Oliver reports, “The new 4G LTE modem from Qualcomm is also one of the most expensive components of the device, estimated to cost $25 by UBS.”

Check out the full materials cost breakdown in the full article here.


  1. How long before someone here whines about how much profit Apple makes?

    The original sites that ran this story earlier today already had many posters misunderstanding the headline and thought that was the total cost.

    No where in the list is:
    – Assembly cost
    – Shipping cost
    – Software development cost
    – Beta testing cost
    – Tons of R & D cost

    1. if Apple is selling the iPhone for 199.99 and it costs in materials alone 167.50 – the profit is 32.49 per unit

      hopefully thats price covers all you have listed above.

      32.49 x 17 million units sold is a nice profit

      Apple sold 17 million songs for a dollar
      again that was a nice profit
      remember Apple gave the artist 70%

      so lesson here is – every penny counts

      but making an insanely great product that people love
      and will buy again and tell others how truly great it is
      there is the magic

      Apple doesn’t make crap

        1. subsidized – the deal with AT&T or other carriers
          Apple earns again only 30% with a typical 2 year contract

          seems they earn bigger profits then

          if the phone in Apple sells 700.00
          but only costs 168.00 to manufacture
          532.00 is profit per unit.

          insanely better for Apple

            1. Thank you @breeze! Another guitarist I admire, Bill Nelson (of BeBop Deluxe) decided to let his lawyer bother with EMI, who have ripped off Nelson even worse than Universal (Viacom) ripped off Fripp. He was also viciously ripped off by his manager, circa 1983, who stole untold thousands of dollars from him. Instead, Bill Nelson went 100% independent and remains one of the single most prolific guitarists in history.

              The article @breeze linked above is brilliant and reflects exactly the problem with the industrialization and marketing-moronification of everything once considered artful and vital to human culture. Instead the game we call ‘finance’ allowed our corrupted culture to pretend making that paper we call ‘money’ excused all human atrocities, including fall scale war and genocide. This is what it is to be a LOST species. Such is our ability to hide ourselves from reality and instead live within our delusional inner worlds instead.

              And any of us can be free of this excremental thinking simply by choosing to grow instead of decay. Life is choice. Choose to choose your life. 😀

          1. earn a NICKLE rather than JACK

            Jack Nicholson – perhaps my silly play on words was missed.

            Jack — (squat nothing)
            Nickel — (know as a 5¢ piece)
            Son — (are you calling me boy)

        1. FYI, musical artists are indentured servants; all their royalties go towards paying off the front money they received from the record manufacturer to sign a contract.

          Like student loans, this debt is unforgivable. You’ll work it off, one way or the other. If you can’t produce hits, you’ll do busy work for the studios. You’ll perform at all the company dog and pony shows, make special appearances at garden parties and company picnics, and be made to develop other people’s work!

          You’ll be “farmed” out to sister studios as session musicians working for scale.

          If the artist gets jack, he’s a slave, not an artist.

    2. No one here is whining because we know better.

      Samsung could care less about your list. They just want iPhone’s illustrated parts-breakdown.

      Samsung sells more phones than anyone on the planet. They are extremely competitive when buying raw materials and I’ll go out on a limb and state, Samsung could build iPhone cheaper than Hon Hai (Apple).

      Granted, Samsung lacks the corporate knowledge to build a better iPhone, but then they don’t have to because Second to None works out just fine. Which was Microsoft’s strategy from day one; we only have to come close to the Apple experience, and bullshit them the rest of the way.

      Price is not a value to me, when shopping for a smartphone. The only metric that matters is, each feature works as advertised and a subsidy is available with a two-year contract.

  2. The point here is
    Apple might possibly be earning less profit on
    the new iPhone compared to older iPhones
    but over the next few years with this model
    material costs could lower as demand remains strong
    no matter what
    Apple maintains the same sales price to the consumer
    while they take in a lower margin of profits
    a gamble that sure will win for them as Asia will buy many

          1. Yeah, and Apple have to decide if they want to allow that to continue. Tim Cook was the, ahem, ‘mastermind’ behind shipping Apple manufacturing off the China: Criminal Nation. He’ll have to be the one to get Apple off the Slave Wage Labor addiction and make better choices. I know he is fully capable of doing so.

            1. Reverse-engineering iPhone 5 is Job One @Samsung.

              “Seconds” (parts with minor defects) that aren’t good enough for QA and are supposed to be destroyed, melted, or whatever, could take days before they’re dealt with. Depending on chain-of-custody and signature service policies, and who keeps track of the self-locking, serialized, wire-ties.

              Samsung should have spies working that garbage detail. Fifty-bucks is a small fortune, to a working-class chinaman.

  3. Umm… not a very researched breakdown of parts. They mentioned the display and touchscreen costs, but the touch sensors are built directly into the display, they are not separate parts; there’s the display and cover glass only

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