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Nexus One may cost less than iPhone 3GS to build

updated 02:40 am EST, Sat January 9, 2010

OLED, 1GHz chip no great damage to price

The HTC-made Google Nexus One may not cost any more than an iPhone 3GS to make, iSuppli has revealed in a preliminary cost teardown. Based on the components either known or believed to be part of the design, the researchers estimate the phone's raw parts cost $174, or $5 less than the $179 16GB iPhone 3GS did when new. The lower cost comes despite a potentially faster processor, a larger and AMOLED-based touchscreen as well as more RAM.

iSuppli estimates the lower price partly due to included flash memory. Although most of the components are more advanced, the inclusion of just a 4GB removable microSDHC card contrasts sharply against the 16GB minimum built-in storage on the latest iPhone.

The bill of materials, which doesn't include assembly, marketing or sales, notably gives Google much of the same in terms of subsidies as Apple but distinctly better hardware. However, it may prove positive for Apple as the company could potentially build an iPhone as good or better than the Nexus One without facing excessive price increases; Apple normally charges a higher retail price and could also stand to wide then gap further.

by MacNN Staff



  1. tpmchugh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Are you nuts???

    " it may prove positive for Apple as the company could potentially build an iPhone as good or better than the Nexus One without facing excessive price increase..."

    They already did!!!

  1. davidlfoster

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The author is either kidding or clueless...


    "The lower cost comes despite a potentially faster processor, a larger and AMOLED-based touchscreen as well as more RAM."

    The iPhone has MUCH MORE RAM than the Nexus.

    This sentence should be amended to replace 'more RAM' with a 'higher resolution camera.'


    The author's last sentence is more editorial than factual. In many respects, the iPhone is already functionally superior. Having far more RAM, 10-100x more applications, and a better GUI than the Nexus, the iPhone can do much more out of the box.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You guys are funny, and adorable. No, actually, the Nexus One does have beefier specs than the iPhone 3Gs.

    iPhone 3Gs has 256MB RAM, a Samsung ARM CortexA8 833mHz CPU underclocked at 600mHz, a PowerVR SGX running at 200mHz capable of driving 7 million polygons per second, 16-32GB of non-removable flash storage, a 3.5" 320x480 resolution capacitive LCD screen, and a 3 megapixes camera without flash capable of shooting 640x480 resolution video.

    Nexus One has 512MB RAM, a more recent Qualcom ARM Snapdragon CPU running at 1GHz, with onboard (not dedicated discreet graphics like the 3Gs, so actual performance may vary) video capable of driving 22 million polygons per second, 512MB of non-removable flash storage plus 4GB removable Micro SD card upgradable to 32GB at the moment (64GB soon), a 3.7" 800x400 resolution capacitive OLED screen, and a 5 megapixel camera with flash capable of shooting 720x480 resolution video.

    Obviously, these specs don't tell the whole story, but given the significant bump in CPU and RAM, and the beautiful screen, it's tough to argue that the Nexus One is not more powerful and capable than the iPhone 3Gs. The comparison of $174 cost for Nexus One now vs. $179 for the 3Gs back when that was released is completely worthless, however, as an iPhone 3Gs built now costs much less than the $179 it cost when they were first released.

  1. Glasspusher

    Joined: Dec 1969



    A co worker of mine brought in a nexus one yesterday. The screen is stunning. I sure hope apple puts one of those (or something better) in the next iphone. Pixel density, contrast, brightness all blow away the iphone's.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm wondering how the Nexus One could be

    less costlier to build than the iPhone 3GS. I'd always thought that if you buy parts in quantity the per unit cost is always cheaper provided both products use the same parts. Apple is buying parts in the tens of millions range and should be able to work out some really sweet deals with suppliers. How many Nexus One phones have been put into production? I wonder if HTC cut some corners to get the price lower. There's always the possibility that newer manufacturing techniques can put more functions on a single chip as opposed to many smaller support chips. That just comes about from technology advances over the last six months.

    What really matters is how much money Apple is making on each iPhone in order to keep building up that tremendous cash reserve.

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