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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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