Uses single LTE chipset for all US carriers
In spite of shifting to more advanced components, the iPad Air is actually cheaper to build than the third-generation iPad was, according to a teardown by IHS iSuppli. The cost is estimated to be between $274 and $361 per unit, depending on the exact configuration. The base cost is $42 less than it was for the third-gen iPad. One contributing factor is the A7 processor, which while costing $18 per unit, is still $5 less than an A5 processor was 18 months ago.
Qualcomm, Skyworks, others among candidates
Apple is in the middle of evaluating potential parts for the next-generation iPhone, according to a Barclays research memo. One expected choice is Qualcomm's MDM9615 chipset, which enables voice and data over LTE. The part is different from the MDM9600 used in the third-generation iPad, which is limited to data only. It also remains to be seen if the new iPhone will support "world" LTE, unlike the iPad, which requires different models for different bands. Adding LTE to the iPhone is expected to cost Apple between $3 and $10 extra per unit versus 3G.
iSuppli teardown shows same price despite 3G swap
A new cost breakdown by IHS iSuppli has given more definitive raw parts costs for the iPhone 4S. A 16GB version of the phone is estimated to cost about $188, or within 50 cents of last year's model when it was new. The switch from an Infineon (now part of Intel) chip to the dual-mode Qualcomm chip had little impact on the cellular chipset, which in total cost about $14 to $15.
OmniVision still mostly in charge for iPhone 5 cam
Talk of Sony pitching in to make eight-megapixel cameras for the iPhone 5 was at once validated and upturned by purported details from the supply chain. OmniVision would still make the CMOS-based sensor and would be responsible for 90 percent of production, but 10 percent would come from Sony. The orders Digitimes was told about would be large enough that OmniVision's contract chip manufacturer, the already large TSMC, would be boosting its wafer production by 40 percent between spring and summer.
Attributed to mics, accelerometers, gyroscopes
Apple has become the second largest buyer of MEMS (microelectromechanical system) sensors in the world, claims research firm iSuppli. During 2010 the company bought approximately $195 million worth of MEMS sensors, a 116.7 percent increase over the $90 million spent in 2009. The new figure puts Apple ahead of Nintendo, which slipped 11.5 percent from 2009 to $123 million, and just $5 million shy of Samsung, which grew 46 percent to $200 million.
iSuppli and UBM estimate iPad 2 at 326 tops
Analysts have provided somewhat conflicting cost breakdowns for the iPad 2 that nonetheless both put the Motorola Xoom in a poor light. iSuppli said Apple's tablet should cost $323.35 in raw parts for a 32GB, Verizon (EVDO) version or $326.60 for its AT&T (HSPA) equivalent. The HSPA version needs chipsets with Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi separate from the Intel/Infineon cellular chip where the EVDO version uses an all-in-one Qualcomm chipset, much like in the Verizon iPhone.
Dell Streak dissected by iFixit
Well-known repair shop iFixit today posted a teardown of the Dell Streak. The Android tablet is put somewhat in contrast with Apple as it's considered relatively accessible. The back cover for the battery and microSDHC slot comes off easily, and the construction is such that both taking apart and reassembling the Streak is easy.
iPhone 4 costs more to make than iPhone 3GS
The iPhone 4 is Apple's most expensive ever phone to make short of the original phone itself, a price breakdown by iSuppli has found. A 16GB example costs about $187.51 in raw parts; the bill is less than the $223 of the 2007 original but more than the $173 iPhone 3G and the $178.96 iPhone 3GS. Most of that cost increase is attributed to the LG Display-built 960x640 IPS screen, which is estimated to cost $28.50 all by itself.
2009 iPhone Supplier Leak
The companies responsible for manufacturing parts in the next major iPhone release have potentially been named by industry contacts of DigiTimes that also predict ship dates and numbers. The Taiwan-area site reinforces its previous claim that OmniVision is making a 3.2-megapixel sensor for the Apple handset's camera and now says that Largan Precision is making the rest of the imaging unit. Infineon is continuing to provide the cellular baseband (likely upgraded to 7.2Mbps 3G) as well as the GPS chipset.