Design changes to the Verizon iPhone 4 lower its bill of materials to $171.35, says IHS iSuppli, which estimated AT&T's iPhone 4 BOM at $187.51.
Wireless iPhone 4 carries a bill of materials totaling $171.35, making it a few
bucks cheaper than AT&T's GSM-based model, IHS iSuppli reported Feb. 9. The
AT&T phone, by the firm's estimate, carried a BOM of $187.51.
items on the BOM are the phone's memory, which is supplied by Samsung and
Toshiba and priced at $40.40, and its display and touch-screen, just shy of
$38-two of the items that are actually mostly unchanged.
smartphones' tallies varied didn't come as a surprise to the research firm,
which in a Feb. 9 teardown of the CDMA-based (Code Division Multiple
Access-based) Verizon phone
discovered that Apple had put a good
deal of work into its newest phone, despite its nearly identical likeness to
its AT&T sibling.
"With the CDMA
iPhone 4, Apple has shown once again that it never recycles a product design,"
Andrew Rassweiler, senior director of teardown services for IHS iSuppli, said
in a statement. "Apple's new designs always exhibit changes, evolution and
factors were evident in the Verizon iPhone 4's antenna design, as well in its
integrated GPS functionality and WiFi/Bluetooth module, said Rassweiler.
according to IHS iSuppli Senior Analyst Wayne Lam, was one of the most
significant changes in the redesign. While the AT&T iPhone features an
all-in-one approach, with the GPS, Bluetooth and WLAN on one segment of the
antenna superstructure, the Verizon model features a separate antenna for its
Bluetooth and WLAN connectivity.
change leaves the top enclosure antenna segment to serve primarily as the GPS
antenna and probably also as a CDMA diversity receive antenna," said Lam. "The
use of antenna diversity is significant because this scheme improves signal-reception
performance, however, still wasn't enough to prevent new reports of the smartphone suffering
from a "death
grip" glitch that causes a loss of reception, failed calls and dropped
The new iPhone
4 also replaces the original's Infineon baseband chip with a Qualcomm MDM6600
baseband/RF transceiver, which, paired with CDMA technology from Skyworks (and
likely also TriQuint, says the firm), was priced at $16.41.
explained that, "By using the Qualcomm baseband chip that integrates GPS, Apple
can go without the discrete Broadcom GPS device" that supported the original
iPhone's GPS control circuitry.
smartphone's camera, at $13.70, follows the Qualcomm chip and precedes its
Murata Bluetooth/WLAN module.
WiFi combo module features the same core functional chip from Broadcom but has
shrunk in size," Rassweiler notes, praising Apple's decision. "Murata has years
of experience with low temperature co-fired ceramic substrates into which passive
components can be embedded, helping to keep overall module size small, and now
Next up, at
$8.18, is the phone's Samsung A4 processor, followed by user-interface
components-the gyroscope, audio components, touch-screen controller, compass
and accelerometer-at $8.18.
come power-management components ($6.50), the battery ($6.00) and the contents
of the phone's box ($5.66)-none of it small potatoes, really.
adds that manufacturing costs tack on $7.10 to the total-and that it's
noteworthy that expenses such as software, licensing, royalties and other "soft
expenses" aren't included in its grand total.
reported that AT&T pays Apple $600 per phone, which, under heavy subsidy,
AT&T passes on to its subscribers for $199. Whether Verizon pays the same
price is unknown.