Apple is separating the new smartphones into its usual low-cost versus high-cost categories, with big differences between the two models coming down to the camera, display, and battery life.
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iPhone 7 Component Costs Estimated to Start at $220
The display remains the most expensive component, costing an estimated $43, followed by an Intel modem and other baseband chips worth an estimated total of $33.90.
Apple's quad-core A10 Fusion chip is the third most expensive item on the bill of materials, costing an estimated $26.90. Meanwhile, the larger 1,920 mAh battery is said to cost just $2.50.
The larger rear-facing iSight camera and improved 7-megapixel front-facing FaceTime camera cost a combined $19.90, according to IHS Markit. Electromechanical components, including the Taptic Engine, antennas, connectors, microphones, and stereo speakers, cost an estimated $16.70 combined.
iPhone 7's 2GB of RAM supplied by Samsung, and 32GB of flash storage supplied by SK Hynix, are estimated to cost a combined $16.40. An audio codec and audio amplifier supplied by Cirrus Logic, an NFC controller supplied by NXP, a Bosch Sensortec-made barometer, along with an accelerometer, gyroscope, Touch ID, proximity sensor, and other sensors, cost an estimated $14 altogether.
The accessories included in the iPhone 7 box, including a Lightning-to-USB cable, Lightning-to-3.5mm audio adapter, EarPods with a Lightning connector, and 5W USB power adapter cost an estimated $11.80 combined.
IHS raises Apple's total cost to manufacture the iPhone 7 to $224.80 after adding $5 in "basic manufacturing costs" related to assembly, insertion, and testing. A 32GB iPhone 7 Plus costs $649 as a point of comparison.
However, the bill of materials does not factor in costs related to, among other things, research and development, software, licensing costs, and transportation. The accuracy of the component costs is also questionable. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he has never seen a cost breakdown that is "anywhere close to being accurate," adding that they are generally "much different than the reality."
At least in comparison to IHS estimates for previous iPhones, the iPhone 7's bill of materials is seemingly costlier than the iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 5, each estimated to start at $200, and the iPhone SE at $160.