iSuppli just got around to tearing apart the iPhone 4 and says the bill of materials (BOM) comes in at $187.51. iSuppli said that while the iPhone 4's design may be radically different, Apple's strategy remains the same.
iSuppli did a teardown of the 16 GB version of the iPhone 4. The company's conclusion seems to be that the new phone marks an advancement in smartphone production.
"Just as it did with the iPad, Apple has thrown away the electronics playbook with the iPhone 4, reaching new heights in terms of industrial design, electronics integration and user interface," said Kevin Keller, principal analyst of teardown services for iSuppli.
iSuppli said that the LCD display represents the single-most expensive component in the iPhone 4, costing $28.50 and accounting for 15.2 percent of the product's total BOM. The 3.5-inch display uses advanced Low-Temperature Polysilicon (LTPS) and In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology and features a 960 x 630 resolution – four times that of the iPhone 3GS. The company said that LG Electronics or Toshiba were the most likely suppliers for Apple's new screen.
The second most expensive single component is the NAND-type flash memory. In the 16 GB version of the iPhone 4, the NAND costs $27 and accounts for 14.4 percent of the BOM. In the individual iPhone 4 torn down by iSuppli, the NAND flash was supplied by Samsung Electronics, although Apple could be employing other sources, as well.
Samsung also supplies the next costliest part, the 4 GB of mobile Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM, priced at $13.80, or 7.4 percent of the BOM.
The iPhone 4's A4 applications processor, which was manufactured by Samsung but uses Apple's intellectual property (IP), costs about $10.75, or 5.7 percent of the iPhone 4's BOM.
iSuppli estimated the BOM of the 3GS in 2009 at $170.80, the 3G in 2008 at $166.31 and the first iPhone in 2007 at $217.73.