iFixit iPhone 6s seal iFixit's teardown reveals a liquid resistant seal
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iFixit iPhone 6s seal

iFixit’s teardown <a href="http://ifixit.org/blog/7408/iphone-waterproof/" target="_blank">reveals</a> a liquid resistant seal

iFixit wasted no time in carrying out its teardowns of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and now IHS has weighed in with its usual estimate of the component and assembly costs. It reckons the total cost of materials and manufacturing of the 16GB 6s Plus to be $236.

Direct Material Costs (Component Costs)




Conversion Costs (Assembly / Insertion/ Test Costs)


Total Cost (Direct Materials & Manufacturing)


Tim Cook would doubtless take issue with this estimate, as he has with others.

There are cost breakdowns around our products that are much different than the reality. I’ve never seen one that is anywhere close to being accurate.

IHS said that 3D Touch and the associated haptic engine were the most obvious new components over the previous year’s model, with an estimated $10 of additional costs, but also noted three improvements geared to making the device more robust … 

The switch to the harder 7000-series aluminum (first leaked back in August) was of course already well-known, as Apple sought to avoid another bendgate – and no surprise either that Apple is using the latest Gorilla Glass 4. But IHS was also able to explain the surprisingly good water resistance of the new iPhones, noting “additional gaskets and seals.”

It speculated that Apple may want to ensure the devices have a longer life now that its annual upgrade program will generate a lot of trade-ins for the company.

iFixit iPhone 6s seal

The company highlighted a common complaint levelled at Apple: the $100 increments charged for each flash memory increment. IHS estimated the difference in component cost between the 16GB and 64GB versions to be around $17. The display remains the most expensive component, at around $52.50.

IHS says that it has not yet had time to analyze the smaller iPhone 6s, but given the differences between the two models, its initial estimate is a total component and assembly cost of $211.50.

In addition to Cook’s own caution, we’d make our usual observation that these estimates do not take into account any of the many other costs involved in bringing the product to market, among them R&D, marketing and distribution. This noted, you can see the IHS breakdown below.


Teardown images via iFixit

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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