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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?

http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/07/real-racing-2-s...

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.


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