EETimes.com reports that technology teardown experts Portelligent have estimated that the bill of materials (BOM) cost to Apple for the iPhone 3G could be as low as $100. While merely an estimate based on assumed components used in the new model, this is significantly lower than the $170 BOM cost at launch for the original iPhone that Portelligent estimated based on their actual teardown of the phone.
Cost savings are estimated to primarily be derived from the touch screen display (decrease of $30), NAND flash memory (decrease of $30 for 8 GB model), and adoption of other components seen in the current iPod touch but not in the original iPhone.
Those changes are only slightly offset by new costs for the iPhone 3G. Carey said the additional cost of an HSDPA chip set are only about $15 plus another $5 for the GPS chip. He also noted that the $100 price increase for a model with 16 Gbytes flash adds to the profit margin because the additional memory chips probably cost Apple only about $20.
While Apple has announced a price of $199 for the iPhone 3G in the U.S., carriers are presumed to be providing Apple with subsidies of up to $200 for each iPhone, meaning that Apple's gross profit on the iPhone 3G may be significantly higher than for its predecessor. It should be noted that other expenses, including research and development, software, licensing, and marketing, are not reflected in these numbers and would reduce Apple's profit by an undetermined amount.