As always, the guys over at IHS iSuppli have just published analysis of their iPhone 4S teardown showing a BOM of $188 for the 16GB and in the process revealing some previously undisclosed suppliers.
The $188 BOM is of course for the entry-level 16GB model, which would also inflate to $196 if factoring in an $8 manufacturing cost. BOM for the 32GB model comes in at $207 (again, before manufacturing), and $245 for the 64GB variant.
The report describes the 4S’s insides as including a “wealth of innovation”, in contrast to the device’s feature set which was received as an incremental upgrade by most. Among the suprises revealed during the teardown– NAND flash memory supplied by Hynix Semiconductor (a first for iPhone) and a “unique custom” wireless module from Avago Technologies Ltd. The device torn down by iSuppli carried the same sony Sensor as the device X-Rayed by Chipworks but they postulate that Omnivision may also provide an 8-megapixel sensor as well for some of the devices.
Senior director of teardown services for IHS, Andrew Rassweiler, explains:
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“While the iPhone 4S shares many common design elements with the two iPhone 4 models already on the market, the new device’s status as a world phone has resulted in fascinating design and component changes. Key among these changes is a custom part from Avago that helps give the iPhone 4S its unique capability to be used in multiple wireless systems globally, while still keeping costs down. In another surprise development, the 4S employs a Hynix NAND flash memory device. While IHS has already confirmed multiple suppliers for this part, it does mark the first time that IHS has identified a Hynix NAND flash in an iPhone, as opposed to devices from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. or Toshiba Corp. seen in all previous iPhone and iPad teardowns.”
When it comes to the unique Avago wireless module, which “amplifies a radio signal prior to transmission”, the report explains the significance:
“What makes the converged Avago part unique is its capability to support both 2G and 3G cellular technologies across multiple bands thus reducing the number of components and PC board footprint required. While Avago is by no means the only company supplying these types of devices, it is the first to be implemented by Apple.”
In addition to the discovery of Hynix supplied memory, the report also confirms Toshiba as another source for NAND flash memory in the 4S. The good news for AAPL shareholders is that even with upgrades on the majority of important internal components, it looks like Apple has been able to maintain margins on the iPhone 4S.