AllThingsD got their hands on the report from research firm IHS a day early, and provide component and assembly breakdowns for both handsets. If IHS got their sums right, there is a surprisingly small difference in manufacturing cost between the 5c and 5s, making earlier suggestions of higher margins on the 5c seem unlikely …
Apple spends at least $191 on components to build a 16-gigabyte iPhone 5S. The cost rises to $210 for a 64 GB unit. The cost of assembly adds another $8 per unit, bringing the range to between $199 and $218m [...]
On the iPhone 5C, the lower-priced model known for its colorful outer shell, IHS estimates the cost of components plus manufacturing ranges from $173 to $183 including $7 for assembly.
Though the true consumer cost of the handsets are often hidden by contract subsidies, the retail price of the 5s ranges from $649 for the 16GB model to $849 for the 64GB model, while the 5c runs from $549 to $649 – giving significantly higher margins on the more expensive model.
Some notable take-outs … the single most expensive component array is the display, totalling $41 in parts; the A7 processor comes in at $19 (against $13 for the A6 chip in the 5c); and the fingerprint sensor in the 5s runs to $7.
If you’ve ordered the 32GB or 64GB models, paying up to $200 extra for the privilege over the duration of your contract, you may want to look away now: the cost to Apple of the bump from 16GB to 64GB is just $19.
Of course, component and assembly costs are just two elements of the total costs involved. Distribution and marketing costs are substantial, and there’s of course a huge R&D effort behind each new model, but it’s not too hard to see why the company has been making more money than it can spend.