Apple’s latest iPhone 6S and 6S Plus have hit the stores, smashing all the first-weekend sales records. IHS Technology has taken apart the iPhone 6S Plus to estimate the actual cost of components used in the device. IHS Technology found that features like 3D Touch, an improved camera, the new Taptic engine, a sturdier body, and A9 processor added just $16 to the bill of materials (BOM) of the iPhone 6S Plus compared to last year’s iPhone 6 Plus.
3D Touch and Taptic engine increase iPhone 6S Plus cost by $10
The teardown revealed that the 16GB variant of Apple’s latest 5.5-inch iPhone costs $231.50 to build. Assembly and testing costs add up another $4.50, taking the total to $236. That is $16 higher than $220 bill of materials for last year’s iPhone 6 Plus. Notably, 3D Touch and the Taptic engine alone add $10 to BOM. IHS Technology also praised the improved 12-megapixel main camera and 5MP front snapper.
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By far, the most expensive component in the iPhone 6S Plus is its display, which costs $52.50 including that of 3D Touch. The front and back cameras are together estimated to cost $22.50, followed by the A9 processor at $22. What’s more, the 2750mAh battery in the iPhone 6S Plus costs just $4.50. The battery is smaller than the 2,915mAh battery in iPhone 6 Plus. Apple has put emphasis on making the new iPhones sturdier by using Series 7000 aluminum alloy.
How Apple mints money on higher storage models
IHS Technology also highlighted how Apple milks money from consumers by pushing them to buy higher storage variants of its phones. The 16GB NAND flash memory costs $5.50. So, the 64GB iPhone 6S Plus costs Apple only $16.50 more to build than 16GB version. But the Cupertino company charges customers $100 more for 64GB option.
Of course, IHS Technology’s cost estimates don’t take into account R&D, licensing, software, marketing, and other expenses. That’s why Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier this year that such teardowns are nowhere close to being accurate.