The tear-down analysis for the latest iPhone 5s is in and it shows a list of components suppliers who successfully got their products designed into the new handset from Apple Inc. Toshiba, Samsung, Qualcomm, Elpida and Murata were the top component suppliers for the iPhone 5s in dollar value, according to IHS Inc., which estimated the total bill of materials for the device at $191. Add in the $8 manufacturing cost and the total production cost for the device rises to $199 versus $197 for the previous version of the product, IHS said.
The intense rivalry and bitter courtroom tussle between Apple and Samsung didn’t stop the U.S. consumer electronics company from procuring products from its Korean counterpart. Samsung supplied the core A7 application processor for the device, making it the supplier with the second leading component supplier for the iPhone. Toshiba Semiconductor was rated in the first position. The Japanese company supplied the display/touch screen module and flash memory for the 16GB iPhone 5s, according to IHS.
Other regular suppliers of components to Apple were also big winners in the latest iteration of the iPhone, indicating the company chose to partner with tried and proven suppliers. In addition to the five companies mentioned above, other suppliers in the Top 10 category in dollar value include AT&S, Dialog Semiconductor, Cirrus Logic, NXP and STMicroelectronics. The remaining component suppliers include Skyworks, Avago, RF Micro, AKM Semiconductor and Bosch Sensortech.
“One of the biggest-ticket items in the iPhone 5s gets no change: the display and touch-screen subsystem,” IHS said in a statement emailed to reporters. “Maintaining the same specification and the same suppliers for the panels as the iPhone 5 has helped Apple hold the line on its hardware costs for the 5s.”
The statement continued: “Japan Display Inc., LG Display and Sharp have been the main display suppliers for the iPhone 5 for more than a year, allowing Apple to provide them the opportunity to enhance their manufacturing yields and efficiencies. NAND flash has also not made any significant advances with the 5s, and the amount of the memory content in the phone remains the same.”
Apple had several innovations in the latest iPhone to entrench itself in the leading position and secure its hefty margins. The iPhone 5s had a 64-bit graphics processor, a move IHS said has implications for its entire supply chain. “The move to the 64-bit apps processor is largely driven by the need for greater computational power to ensure that the smartphone’s fingerprint sensor works quickly and seamlessly,” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS in the company’s statement.
“The processor also boosts the performance of the iPhone 5s’s camera, allowing 120 frame-per-second (FPS) video and 10 FPS photo capture. This design change will likely set the stage for 64-bit processors to be used in upcoming Apple products, including new models of the iPad, the Apple TV and even MacBook Air PCs,” IHS aded.
Other innovations include an upgraded RF transceiver and an advanced type of DRAM called LPDDR3 to “support the fast processing speeds of the A7,” according to the research firm. The company noted that its estimated manufacturing and components cost for the iPhone 5s was “preliminary in nature, accounts only for hardware and manufacturing costs and does not include other expenses such as software, licensing, royalties or other expenditures.”