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iPhone 4S  (Source: DailyTech)
UBM TechInsights releases approximate cost of the iPhone 4S

Despite Apple's iPhone 4S' inability to please some customers or investors at this point, analysts predict that Apple will maintain profit margins with the few updates the 4S holds, and have even released an estimated cost of the newest mobile addition.

Technical analysis company UBM TechInsights has conducted an in-depth analysis of its database of "teardowns and trends" to release an estimated cost of the iPhone 4S, and expect that Apple can continue to carry healthy profit margins comparable to prior iPhone releases.

UBM TechInsights' report discussed the changes applied to the iPhone 4S such as the A5 processor, saying that they're nothing groundbreaking, but just necessary updates to stay in line with competitors.

"Just as we saw a modest technology bump from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3GS, Apple is adopting the same model of iterative improvement and incrementalism as they gear up for the iPhone 5 platform," said David Carey, UBM TechInsights Vice President of Technical Intelligence. "By continuing down the hardware evolution path, more powerful and useful software such as natural voice recognition, highly-rendered gameplay, wireless video mirroring, and complex image processing all become possible. The software experience -- enabled by 'good-enough' hardware -- is arguably what customers care about most in the end."

Changes such as the iPhone 4S' compatibility across GSM and CDMA networks allowed for lowered design times and production costs because two versions of the phone did not have to be made.

UBM TechInsights also saw Apple's decision to stay away from LTE as notable.

"Apple is making a rather large statement on their confidence in LTE by focusing a lot of their presentation on the comparable rates of transfer of HSPA+ to LTE," said Carey. "LTE implementation has brought about concerns of power consumption, but I believe in Apple's case, the decision to shy away from LTE comes from its slow adoption. For example, AT&T, the iPhone's original carrier, has yet to introduce 4G networks to their customers."

Taking all of the above into consideration, including past trends and iPhone teardowns, UBM TechInsights estimates that the iPhone 4S' bill of materials will come to $203, where some new additions like the A5 processor will cost about $26 and the retina display will cost about $31.

Source: UBM TechInsights [PDF]

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I really just don't get it
By elderwilson on 10/6/2011 11:12:32 AM , Rating: 2
I saw a news report this morning about how great the iphone 4S is and all the amazing things it can do. The "amazing" features mentioned were: video player, digital camera, contact organizer, alarm clock, and most incredible of all it can make phone calls (maybe I should send the guy my 8 year old LG flip phone).

I have seen nothing impressive about any iphone release, perhaps besides the limitations Apple puts on them. I was really hoping Apple would finally do something great and innovative, but that clearly isn't going to happen until people wake up and stop buying anything branded with a shiny apple.

RE: I really just don't get it
By EasyC on 10/6/2011 11:33:31 AM , Rating: 5
Making phone calls IS an improvement over the 4... So they are correct.

RE: I really just don't get it
By michael2k on 10/6/2011 12:36:31 PM , Rating: 2
You didn't see anything impressive about any iPhone release?

So the first iPhone wasn't impressive due to it's multitouch? The second iPhone wasn't impressive, I grant, since all it did was add 3G and an App Store. The third iPhone was 2x faster and had a much better camera. Maybe you don't like pictures, though?

The fourth iPhone doubled the screen resolution, which impressed a LOT of people, but maybe you don't have good vision and couldn't see the pixels anyway. The fifth iPhone again doubles the CPU performance, and on top of that 5x the GPU performance, as well as having a much better camera; maybe you don't take videos or pictures, again, but a lot of people think this is really blurring the line between point and shoots and cell phones. Maybe you don't even own a camera?

The 5th iPhone also adds Siri, which seems impressively capable, but maybe you don't actually have a lot of todos and tasks or activities, so keeping track of things and asking your phone to do things for you seems pointless.

People aren't buying them because they are branded with a shiny apple, they're buying them because they play prettier games than DSes and PSPs, they have music and video better than just about anything other than an iPod, they have better apps outside of anything short of Windows, they take better pictures short of a real camera (and almost as good, now), etc.

So instead of carrying around an iPod ($149), DS ($99), camera ($99), cellphone ($0), and a PDA ($99), they can carry around an iPhone for $199.

RE: I really just don't get it
By Natch on 10/6/2011 2:31:17 PM , Rating: 1
So, in other words, the shiny new Apples do everything that the Android phones did....LAST YEAR. Everything you mention has been available on Android models for a while now, and this is simply Apple playing catch-up.

Oh, and Siri? Sorry, Siri, but voice recognition has been around for a while now too.....again, on Androids.

But hey, you've got a pretty screen to play your games on, and a shiny Apple to hug at night, don't you? [/sarcasm]

RE: I really just don't get it
By elderwilson on 10/6/2011 3:07:08 PM , Rating: 2
This is the point I was trying to make, but michael2k doesn't seem to understand.

RE: I really just don't get it
By captainBOB on 10/6/2011 3:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
The iPhone isn't trying to bring over Android users, its trying to bring in people who want an iPhone.

Its like HTC Evo vs iPhone 4, they don't care that an android phone can do the same thing as an iPhone for cheaper, its not an iPhone, therefore... "I don't care"

On the topic of Siri, it actually started out as a DARPA project, which is how GPS and the Internet got started. Not that it means anything but something interesting I found. Also we can't discount Siri just yet, we don't yet know how it works, it might be using the same old tech as every other voice recognition software or it might be something completely new.

RE: I really just don't get it
By michael2k on 10/6/2011 3:43:41 PM , Rating: 1
The iPhone came out a year before Android, so no, not last year.

Apple and Google play tick tock, of course, but not everything on an iPhone was available last year.

An Android phone matching the 960x640 iPhone 4 was released only in October, three months after the iPhone and only in Japan. The more broadly available Atrix at 960x540 was only available in March, or about 9 months later.

Likewise at the time of release the iPhone 4, on several review sites, had the best camera (compared to the then king Droid X). Again, based on reviews, it took until the Atrix (9 months later) to match the camera.

Of course the Atrix is now being beat (in cores, in GPU, in camera, still in DPI, still in resolution) by the iPhone 4S.

So yes, Android did beat Apple, but not last year.

By TakinYourPoints on 10/8/2011 8:02:37 PM , Rating: 2
Can Android do this?

Hell, Windows Phone 7 is probably going to be capable of this before Android, either via HTPC or next-gen XBox. Microsoft and Apple have the advantage of a vertically integrated hardware/software stack, much better than the fragmented Wild West approach of Android that gives a very loose and unsupported hardware/software framework for developers.

It's no wonder iOS has such strong developer support, and I expect the same to happen with Windows Phone 7 eventually.

Hype by Morons...
By BSMonitor on 10/6/11, Rating: 0
RE: Hype by Morons...
By dark matter on 10/6/2011 12:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
Pot Says "Hype from ignorant people who jump on bandwagons ain't exactly worth a lot"

Kettle Says " I prefer a phone that just works.."

Pot, meet Kettle...

RE: Hype by Morons...
By V-Money on 10/6/2011 2:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
Its funny how people always base things on their own opinions and (lack of)experiences and never actually look at real evidence. If I did the same, I would have a different conclusion.

It turns out that I've owned a nexus one since they first became available, and I still love it. I was told about android by a friend who had a G1, who still has that. Everyone I knew who had an android phone kept them for quite a while. Everyone I know who had an iphone upgraded at the earliest opportunity possible, it was always a hot topic when a new model came out and everyone rushed to get it the day it came out. I was on a submarine, therefore lots of diversity of people from all over.

My opinion is that you are a young troll who doesn't have much extra money to go on these trips, because the trips you speak of can easily cost a couple grand, much more than a phone. I also feel as if you don't have many friends with which to make your assumptions, and your circle jerks with other iphone users doesn't prove much to me.

Personally I could care less what phones other people use, but the Iphone users are always so adamant about their phones. I never refer to my phone as "my android phone", and I don't even correct people when they call it an iphone when they see it. I'm always told how great they are and it shocks people when I tell them I have used one and it didn't impress me.

RE: Hype by Morons...
By elderwilson on 10/6/2011 3:15:02 PM , Rating: 2
You know why some android users are constantly buying new phones? Because there is always something better to buy. Apple on the other had throws a party to announce it is releasing hardware that might compete with other high end phones.

RE: Hype by Morons...
By Omega215D on 10/6/2011 4:25:09 PM , Rating: 2
To add, it's not even that many Android users that are constantly upgrading. Many are happy with their current phones and those that are eligible for upgrades use them. There are those who enjoy having the latest gadget, and if they have the disposable income who am I to judge?

It's business as usual for Apple. Sell on current hardware but choosing form over function and selling the "It just works" and "it's an iphone" lines. It's fine if people want to upgrade to the newest iPhone (though it doesn't really offer much compared to the competition) but it's the smug attitude of many iPhone users and Apple followers that cause us to shake our heads.

RE: Hype by Morons...
By DeluxeTea on 10/6/2011 11:40:48 PM , Rating: 2
Funny. Based on your name, you should be monitoring yourself.

Minor Updates?
By smegz on 10/6/2011 1:38:49 PM , Rating: 2
Is everyone high? The 4S is a NEW phone. I think everyone is getting stuck on the lack of a design change. In essence the whole phone is new with exception of the case and the screen. The SOC is new and improved, the camera is new and improved, and the radio (GSM/CDMA) is new and improved. Top that off with a major overhaul of the OS, but all I see is whining about how minor the changes are.

3G > 3GS
4 > 4S

Does anyone see a pattern emerging?

Next year 5, the following 5S would be my guess. Has anyone seen a pattern like this before? Look to Intel with their tick-tock timeline.

RE: Minor Updates?
By Ushio01 on 10/6/2011 1:44:42 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't it be iphone 6 next year?

1. iphone
2. iphone 3G
3. iphone 3GS
4. iphone 4
5. iphone 4S

RE: Minor Updates?
By HopJokey on 10/7/2011 10:41:04 AM , Rating: 2
It would be the "sixth" iPhone but based on the model scheme pattern it would be called iPhone 5.

RE: Minor Updates?
By Camikazi on 10/8/2011 4:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
SO what happened to the iPhone 2, or did someone blink and forget that number in their design scheme?

Title Fix
By futrtrubl on 10/6/2011 11:26:37 AM , Rating: 3
Apple's iPhone 4S to Achieve Healthy Profit Margins Due to Minor Updates

There, fixed.

RE: Title Fix
By kookyMooky on 10/6/2011 12:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
^^ what he said

In other news...
By quiksilvr on 10/6/2011 10:26:44 AM , Rating: 4
The sky changes from blue to black and back to blue again...

More at 11.

Why havent flash/costs changed over 2 years?
By blakehew on 10/6/2011 11:25:04 AM , Rating: 2
I'm disappointed in the pricing. I payed 299 for 32GB 3GS two years ago and now 32 GB 4GS still costs 299?? Flash prices have gone down quite dramatically over the last two years? Whats the deal. We should at least get 64GB for what 32GB cost 2 years ago. Very disappointing!!!.

By Omega215D on 10/6/2011 4:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
It's Apple we're talking about here. Their pricing schemes will hardly ever change. Look at the MacBook and iMac line ups.

$300 for 32GB on contract is a bit much. They can get away with it is due to the Apple branding, while other manufacturers get chastised for it.

A comedy act
By ZZm12 on 10/8/2011 9:28:28 AM , Rating: 2
I heard two comedians debating over which one is better approach: Keep the sales box the same, change the product inside, or keep the product unchanged and change the box every six months or so. Then there is the 3rd "Kim Jong-il" method, keep both the same and just clone it every 30 years.

Traditionally mobile phone manufacturers were good at keeping the insides the same and changing the outside design, and it was important to create "this model is better than the previous-effect" by making it more difficult to use and with lot of useless specs. But like borrowing money from the future, stretching users ability figure everything out came to an end. Now Google is trying to do it with Android and has a good start on it, but with over 10 different OS versions and hundreds of different models, who knows how long it will last.

Lot of jokes came out of the box exercise, but in the end what Apple is doing is offering a new iPhone for 3GS owners without pissing off the iP4 customers with 24 month contracts. You are still welcome to buy it if you really need the power, but otherwise just move the iPhone two inches closer to get the bigger screen that everybody now seems to want.

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