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iPhone XS Max bill of materials estimate has some odd comparisons

By Jules Wang September 26, 2018, 5:05 pm

The $1,099 iPhone XS Max obviously costs more than the $999 iPhone XS and iPhone X. And it also costs a little bit more to make than the other two phones.

In its own teardown analysis, TechInsights has estimated that it costs Apple $443 a unit to produce the 256GB iPhone XS Max. The firm estimated the iPhone X to cost $395 per unit while a Chinese industry publication put its estimate at $413 — we can presume its for the same capacity, but that has not been disclosed.

While the title of “most expensive iPhone” is earned, there are a few interesting data points when scaling from a 5.8-inch display to a 6.5-inch unit. For one, the display itself only costs 4 percent more at $80.50 per unit, but mechanic and component housing costs jump by a whopping 27 percent to $58 — TechInsights accounts this to more housings, welds and inserts needed in the iPhone XS Max. Memory costs have also rocketed by 42 percent, though again, we aren’t clear on what benchmark the iPhone X provided. Most other cost components from audio to signaling and cameras to labor were either flat in price from the iPhone X or slightly more expensive.


The $9 battery — which was found to have about 3,179mAh of capacity — costs nearly 40 percent more than the iPhone X, but delivers just under the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus in typical battery life according to Tom’s Guide.

Keep in mind that these are just estimates and don’t account for other costs like research and development. Still, if history is any measuring stick, you can expect Apple to be making off fine and dandy when it reports earnings in January.


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