Infographic: How Much Does Each Piece of Apple's iPhone Cost?

The iPhone is the pride and joy of Apple -- and it contributes a big part to the company's bottom line. Apple doesn't manufacture any of the components and it doesn't even assemble them into the final product -- all of that work is outsourced, to Samsung, Foxconn, Micron, Texas Instruments, AKM Semiconductor, and others -- but it does stock the phone in its many retail locations and in its online store, where it sells them to the masses, making more than $350 on average per unit.

Based on data from iSuppi, a market research firm, Mobile Phone Tracker built the infographic below, which slices up Apple's prized product to show you how much each component of the smartphone costs and where it comes from. What's more shocking here than the amount Apple is making on every iPhone it sells is how much Samsung contributes to the construction of one of its biggest rivals. "Apple is one of Samsung's largest customers, and Samsung is one of Apple's biggest suppliers," the Economist points out. "This is actually part of Samsung's business model: acting as a supplier of components for others gives it the scale to produce its own products more cheaply. For its part, Apple is happy to let other firms handle component production and assembly, because that leaves it free to concentrate on its strengths: designing elegant, easy-to-use combinations of hardware, software and services."

Infographics are always a bit of a hodgepodge of statistics culled from a variety of sources. Here, we sort through the clutter and pull out some of our favorite facts and figures:

  • The average sale price of Apple's iPhone 4 is $560. Of that, $7 covers the cost of manufacturing, $178 goes to components, $7 is taken by Foxconn, and Apple walks away with the rest, or $368.
  • As Nokia and RIM's share of the global smartphone market shrunk between the second quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2011, that of Apple grew by more than six percent. Samsung's share also grew over that period.
  • Samsung contributes the flash memory, DRAM memory, and applications processors for Apple's iPhone 4. Those three components cost about $45.68 per unit.
  • Other components of the iPhone 4 and their cost: Battery, $6; accessories, $5.67; mechanicals and electro-mechanicals, $19.97; audio, $0.98; touchscreen control, $0.90; display and touchscreen, $38.50; power management, $1.51; bluetooth and Wi-Fi, $8.

Check out more Infographics on the Technology Channel.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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