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Analysis: iPod touch not so similar to iPhone

updated 10:50 am EST, Thu December 20, 2007

iPod touch vs. iPhone

A new teardown of the iPod touch shows that it is not as similar to the iPhone as one might think, according to the research firm iSuppli. While cosmetically and functionally identical to the iPhone in many regards, such as in its "springboard" touchscreen interface, the iPod touch shows internal evidence of using a different design with some advancements. The player has a single printed circuit board (PCB) instead of two, for instance, onto which the touchscreen circuitry has been moved as well. Similarly, new components have been put in the Touch in service of its Wi-Fi functions.

Other changes are merely adapted to the Touch's unique shape, which is thinner and shorter than the iPhone. These include 0201 diodes and passive components in 01005 enclosures, both used for the player's Wi-Fi module.

iSuppli notes that the Touch is otherwise 90 percent identical internally, using for example the same $13.19 integrated circuit from Samsung. The parts in an 8GB iPod touch cost approximately $149.18 to Apple, meaning that before research, marketing or labor concerns, the $299 retail price is 92.9 percent higher than manufacturing costs.

It is believed that approximately 8.5 million first-generation Touches will have been built between the third quarter of 2007 and the same time in 2008, at which time Apple is expected to launch a successor. This may be separate from a simple memory upgrade.

by MacNN Staff




  1. koolkid1976

    Joined: Dec 1969


    90% identical /= similar

    That's good to know that 90% identical does not equal similar. Thanks for letting us know it's not as similar as we thought cuz I'm sure we were all thinking it was 100% similar.

  1. Icarust

    Joined: Dec 1969


    R&D Costs

    If manufacturing costs are marked up 92.9% I wonder how much R&D, etc, costs.

  1. ~bash $

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: r&d costs

    Does anyone have any clue why r&d costs, advertising, etc. etc. are consistently neglected in these sorts of analysis of cost. This is not just by the firm who is cobbling together these figures but in the reporting, too.

  1. McDave

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Y'know, that little thing? Where's the breakdown for OS & Apps devt?


  1. nostrademas

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Retail % of manufacture

    You know, 92% markup to retail looks like pretty poor margins to me once those other things are taken into account. Retailer margin alone is normally that much. If you go into a Nike store and pick up a shirt that costs 49.99 you're probably paying 1,700% mark-up on manufacture...

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