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iPhone 3GS Costs $178.96 To Build Says iSuppli

Research company iSuppli religiously tore down the iPhone 3GS as it did for previous high profile smartphone and gave a rather detailed estimate of the cost of the iPhone.

Based on the physical analysis of the 16GB model, the firm says that it costs around $178.96 to build the new iPhone, compared to the $174.33 the older version cost - that only $4 extra. The iPhone 3GS shares many of the components of the iPhone 3G which means that Apple could have driven down the price of the parts.

The 16GB NAND Flash memory from Toshiba grabs the biggest portion of the overall cost at $24. The 3.5-inch LCD screen costs only $19.25 to which the touchscreen assembly adds another $16.

The ARM Cortex core application processor drives the price up by $14.46. Other parts includes the camera module ($9.55) while the communication hardware costs around $13.

Apple has also managed to replace a number of components by a single package that not only costs less but is also easier to implement and consumes less power.

iSuppli's teardown did not include the price of research and development as well as the software and the accessories. Back in November 2008, iSuppli put the cost of the then-new HTC G1 Android smartphone at $143.89 back then.

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Our Comments

The iPhone 3GS costs around £130. Yet some etailers are planning to sell it for a staggeringly high £899.99, that's seven times the price. What's more, the price difference between the 32GB and the 16GB model costs Apple around £20, yet it charges nearly £100 extra for the additional 16GB memory.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.