IHS iSuppli say that these teardown assessments are preliminary in nature, account only for hardware and manufacturing costs and do not include other expenses such as software, licensing, royalties or other expenditures.
“With the base model carrying a $199.00 BOM, the iPhone 5’s components are expected to be slightly more expensive compared to the iPhone 4S model,” said Andrew Rassweiler, senior principal analyst, teardown services, for IHS. “The low-end iPhone 4S with the same memory density as the base-model iPhone 5 carried a BOM of $188.00, according to a preliminary estimate issued by IHS in October 2011. While the price of some components, such as NAND flash, has fallen during the past year, the iPhone 5’s overall BOM has increased mainly because its display and wireless subsystems are more expensive compared to the iPhone 4S.”
As in previous models, the costliest subsystem in the iPhone 5 is estimated to be the display with integrated, in-cell touch sensing. At $44.00, this subsystem is pricier than the combined total of $37.00 for the iPhone 4S display with separate touchscreen based on pricing from October 2011. This is due to the iPhone 5’s larger display—at 4.0 inches diagonally, compared to 3.5 inches for the iPhone 4S—and the inclusion of the new in-cell touchscreen technology
“The iPhone 5 makes a big evolutionary step in technology that we have not seen elsewhere with the use of in-cell touch sensing,” Rassweiler said. “Most other smartphones LCDs use a completely distinct capacitive touchscreen assembly that is physically separate and placed on top of the display. The iPhone 5 partially integrates the touch layers into the display glass, making the product thinner and reducing the number of parts required to build display that senses touch without the need for a separate capacitive touch layer.”
In the past, smartphones with capacitive touch technology employed different suppliers for the display and touchscreen. However, Samsung made the first advance beyond conventional