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Virtual teardown pegs iPhone 5 production cost at $207

Apple is paying approximately $207 (£128) to produce the iPhone 5, according to a new teardown analysis from IHS iSuppli.

The 16GB version of the iPhone 5 carries of a bill of materials (BOM) of $199 (£123); an extra $8 (£5) for manufacturing costs brings the price to $207 (£128). The 32GB iPhone 5 has a $209 (£129) BOM, while the 64GB version sets Apple back $230 (£142).

Apple is selling the 16GB iPhone 5 for £529, the 32GB for £599, and the 64GB for £699.

IHS iSuppli described its teardown as "virtual" and preliminary, as the group has not actually ripped apart an iPhone 5 just yet. Instead, IHS based its analysis on the specs announced by Apple, as well as information regarding known components and suppliers.

The most expensive part of the iPhone 5 is its larger, in-cell touch screen, which combines what used to be two displays into one. It costs $44 (£27) per iPhone 5, which is more than the $37 (£23) display plus touch screen found on the iPhone 4S.

"With the base model carrying a $199.00 [£123] BOM, the iPhone 5's components are expected to be slightly more expensive compared to the iPhone 4S model," Andrew Rassweiler, senior principal analyst of teardown services at IHS, said in a statement. "The low-end iPhone 4S with the same memory density as the base-model iPhone 5 carried a BOM of $188.00 [£116], 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."

The smartphone's wireless technology costs $34 (£21) per device. That's about $10 (£6) more expensive than the iPhone 4S thanks to the 4G LTE connectivity available in the iPhone 5.

To accommodate all the different LTE frequencies around the world, IHS speculated that "there are at least two different versions of the iPhone 5 - each with multiband filters that will allow Apple to support as many global markets as possible with as few versions of the product as feasible."

"In some ways this is an expensive way to do business, but by maintaining the fewest numbers of variations possible, Apple is playing to its strength in product design," IHS said.

The mechanical components of the iPhone 5 cost $33 (£20), while the 8-megapixel camera costs $18 (£11) per phone, and the new A6 processor is $17.50 (£11) - up from $15 (£9) in the last iPhone. All other components are about $10 (£6) or less per iPhone 5.

Fore more see Round-up of iPhone 5 reviews: It's all good.