The iPhone 12 is more expensive to build than any previous iPhone.
A new Counterpoint report says that Apple’s iPhone 12 is around 21 percent more expensive to make in terms of blended materials compared to the iPhone 11.
The report analyzed the bill of materials (BoM) data for the iPhone 12 128GB model — both the sub-6GHz variant and the mmWave version. It says that the cost of building the sub-6GHz iPhone 12 with 128GB storage is nearly $415 USD, a 21 percent increase over the iPhone 11. This model is sold in all markets except US, where the mmWave version is made available.
In the iPhone 12, Apple’s self-designed components including the A14 bionic, PMIC, Audio and UWB chip make up over 16.7% of the overall BoM cost. The shift from LCD to OLED in the iPhone 12 is a big jump, resulting in an over $23 cost increase. Cost increases are also driven by 5G-related components, with components like 5G modem, transceiver and RF front-end system collectively contributing a $34 increase. Producing a 128GB iPhone 12 mmWave (millimeter-wave) smartphone will cost Apple up to $431, 26% higher compared to the iPhone 11, according to the latest bill of materials (BoM) analysis by Counterpoint’s component research practice. Despite over $27 cost savings due to the simplified RF design, the BoM cost of the sub-6GHz-only model for overseas markets still increased by 18%.
This is a higher estimate than a previous estimate of $373 USD based on a teardown conducted by Tokyo-based research firm Fomalhaut Techno Solutions in a collaboration with Nikkei.
As you might expect, a few key new features have really driven up the cost of making the iPhone 12. The addition of Apple’s new A14 chip accounts for 16.7% percent of the overall BoM cost.