iPhone SE Component Costs Estimated to Start at $160

Component costs for the new 16GB iPhone SE are estimated to be at about $160, according to a preliminary teardown report from IHS iSuppli. When a new iPhone is released, IHS often takes it apart to estimate the cost of each component to ultimately predict how much Apple spends on hardware.

IHS estimates that the materials for the device cost $156.20, rounded up to $160 with the addition of manufacturing costs. Apple is believed to have kept the base cost of the iPhone SE relatively low by using a number of parts designed for the iPhone 5s, 6, and 6s, allowing the device to be sold to consumers at a $399 starting price due to price drops on the original components.

ihsexplodediphonese
For example, the Gorilla Glass display in the iPhone SE is estimated to be one of the most expensive components, coming in at a price of $20. When that display was originally used in the iPhone 5s, it was more than twice as expensive. When the iPhone 5s was released in 2013, in fact, its costs were estimated to be at $199 and with Apple's most recent flagship iPhone 6s Plus, component costs were estimated to start at $236.

When it comes to the 64GB iPhone SE, IHS estimates that Apple is making an additional $89 per device over the 16GB iPhone SE, due to the relatively low cost of memory upgrades.

"Apple is willing to drop its gross margin on the low end to induce sales -- though it is likely counting on many consumers upgrading to the more profitable 64 gigabyte SE model," said Wayne Lam, principal analyst, mobile devices and networks, IHS Technology. "When the profit machine that is Apple capitulates to the market forces of a maturing industry, it shows its tacit acknowledgement that even it is not immune to the dynamics of the global smartphone slowdown."

IHS' component cost estimates look at the potential price related to each individual component in a device without taking into account other expenses related to product creation like research and development, advertising, software, and distribution, so while interesting, the estimates are not a useful tool for determining Apple's actual profit margin. An earlier report from CNN suggested the iPhone SE components have a total cost of $220, but IHS has a longer history and more experience with component pricing estimates.

In the past, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that component cost breakdowns on Apple products are inaccurate. "There are cost breakdowns around our products that are much different than the reality," he said. "I've never seen one that is anywhere close to being accurate."

Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2020
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

bbeagle Avatar
71 months ago
Bottled water components cost $0. They sell it for $1.59.

Component costs never tell the true story.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Oblivious.Robot Avatar
71 months ago
And then you have Jony's big bonus to think about :D
Oddly, that's the one thing he won't like to be thinner! :p
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2457282 Avatar
71 months ago
Bottled water components cost $0. They sell it for $1.59.

Component costs never tell the true story.
Agreed. The cost of the OS and software need to be include. Plus shipping. Plus advertising. And then you have Jony's big bonus to think about :D
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bubba Satori Avatar
71 months ago
Why are so many people upset when these estimates come out?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brewmonkey Avatar
71 months ago

In the past, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that component cost breakdowns ('https://www.macrumors.com/2015/04/27/apple-product-component-cost-breakdowns-inaccurate/') on Apple products are inaccurate..."I've never seen one that is anywhere close to being accurate."
Probably a little bit of grandstanding with that statement. Of course we can't know exact details of Apple's contracts, but supply chain analysis is neither new nor rocket science. They're not posting the highest profitability of any company on earth on grocery store margins. ;)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
71 months ago
When people complain about component costs compared to the actual product, it reminds me of on Pawn Stars when they bring in an expert to say what something's worth, then they offer half of that. Like people expect them to buy and sell stuff without making a profit.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
iCloud General Feature

iCloud+'s New Custom Email Domain Feature Now Available in Beta

Wednesday August 25, 2021 7:48 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, users with a paid iCloud+ storage plan can personalize their iCloud email address with a custom domain name, such as johnny@appleseed.com, and the feature is now available in beta. iCloud+ subscribers interested in setting up a custom email domain can visit the beta.icloud.com website, select "Account Settings" under their name, and select ...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
macbook air deals

Deals: Amazon Drops Price of 256GB M1 MacBook Air to New Low of $849.99 ($149 Off)

Friday August 27, 2021 6:16 am PDT by
Amazon today introduced new low prices on the M1 MacBook Air for both 256GB and 512GB storage options. To start, you can get the 256GB model for $849.99, down from an original price of $999.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Only Silver and Gold are...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
maxresdefault

'Being James Bond' Retrospective Will Be Free to Watch Through Apple TV App

Tuesday August 31, 2021 8:25 am PDT by
Update 9/7/21: "Being James Bond" is now available to watch through the Apple TV app. Ahead of the theatrical release of James Bond film "No Time To Die" on October 8 in the United States, a 45-minute retrospective titled "Being James Bond" will be available to watch for free through the Apple TV app, according to Deadline. The story from MGM is said to feature Daniel Craig reflecting ...
ted lasso notchless phone

No, That Notchless iPhone Spotted in 'Ted Lasso' Isn't the iPhone 13

Tuesday August 31, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Recent sightings of a notchless iPhone in highly popular Apple TV+ comedy "Ted Lasso" have led to sensational headlines suggesting this is a canny bit of product placement on Apple's part and that the iPhone 13 will be notchless. In actuality – and this could go without saying – the phone in question is very likely just showing a poorly superimposed display added in post-production. Notchless ...