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16GB iPhone 5s carries $199 BoM

Posted: 30 Sep 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iPhone 5s? LPDDR3? fingerprint sensor? NAND flash?

According to the Teardown Analysis Service at IHS, the low-end version of the iPhone 5s with 16GB of NAND flash memory has a bill of materials (BoM) of $191. When the $8 manufacturing expense is factored in, the cost rises to $199. Apple's iPhone 5 from last year had a BoM of $197, also based on the IHS teardown analysis.

"The iPhone 5s features a 64bit apps processor, low-power Double Data Rate 3 (LPDDR3) DRAM, and a novel fingerprint sensorfeatures that have never before been seen in a smartphone," said Andrew Rassweiler, senior director, cost benchmarking services for IHS. "In addition, it is very interesting to see that Apple continues to collaborate closely with suppliers to develop unique radio frequency (RF) solutions that give Apple a competitive edge."

Although other smartphones have included 64bit graphics processors, the 5s is the first model with a 64bit applications processor, an innovation that has major implications for the iPhone and for Apple's other product lines.

"The move to the 64bit apps processor is largely driven by the need for greater computational power to ensure that the smartphone's fingerprint sensor works quickly and seamlessly," said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS. "The processor also boosts the performance of the iPhone 5s's camera, allowing 120fps video and 10fps photo capture. This design change will likely set the stage for 64bit processors to be used in upcoming Apple products, including new models of the iPad, the Apple TV and even MacBook Air PCs."

The 64bit processor is part of the Apple-designed A7 apps processor, based on a core from ARM Holdings plc. The 64bit processor core is called "Cyclone," as opposed to the 32bit version used in the iPhone 5 and 5c, known as "Swift."

Despite the well-publicized feud between the companies, Samsung is the manufacturer of Apple's A7. This likely is because Samsung has a licence to ARM's 64bit core.

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