Talking tech since 2003

Engineering and technology research firm IHS (Information Handling Services) has commenced their annual teardown of Apple’s latest cell phone technology, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Though the two phones sport slightly different appearances (and price points), their internal components are surprisingly similar.

The facts most notably derived from this teardown are the device’s individual component costs, and what Apple roughly spends to have them manufactured. According to the IHS report that’s releasing tomorrow (but was shared with AllThingsD this morning), Apple spends approximately $191 on parts to build a 16GB iPhone 5S. It spends upwards of roughly $210 on a 64GB iPhone 5S. General assembly costs add about $8 per device, so the range of cost for Apple per iPhone 5S created is between $199 and $218.

As for the iPhone 5C, IHS claims that the range of costs runs from $173 to $183, including a $7 assembly cost.

Apple is selling each iPhone 5S without a contract in the range of $649 to $849, and selling iPhone 5Cs contract-less in the range of $549 and $649.

The report mentions that the estimated production cost of last year’s iPhone 5 was about $205, for comparison.


“I would say that they’re almost the same phone, except that the 5s has the fingerprint sensor, the A7 processor and some newer memory chips that consume less power. Beyond that, they’re basically the same,” mentioned IHS analyst Andrew Rassweiler, who managed the teardown of the devices.

The phones currently share the same display, the same front and rear-facing cameras, and similar flash-memory chips, among other components. It’s really the fingerprint reader, processing power and overall power consumption that differentiates them, as of now.

In terms of specifics, the iPhone 5S has a 64-bit A7 processor, whereas the iPhone 5C has a 32-bit A6 processor. And where the 5S includes LPDDR3 memory, the 5C embraces slightly-older low power tech in the form of LPDDR2 memory.

But other than those differences, the 5C is just the more colorful one. And, of course, it’s cheaper – quite a few Jacksons cheaper, at that.

[Source: AllThingsD/IHS]

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