Apple’s ‘Evolutionary’ iPhone 4S Cost $203 to Build [Report]


iphone 4s

Hardware researchers say Apple’s just-released iPhone 4S costs $203 to build, providing similar ‘evolutionary’ advances seen when the tech giant jumped from the iPhone 3G to 3GS. The 32GB iPhone 4S will cost $749 before customer subsidy.

Each retina display in the iPhone 4S costs $31, while the A5 processor tacks on $26 to the build cost, according to researchers at UBM TechInsights. UBM said the iPhone 4S is a “moderate improvement” over the iPhone 4, noting the handset includes the A5 processor, 8MP camera, longer-lived battery and a “world phone” supporting both GSM and CDMA technology. Although some consumers came away disappointed Apple did not introduce more revolutionary changes, such as smaller form factor or larger display, the hardware research firm called the evolutionary changes “par for the course for Apple.”

In a statement, UBM TechInsights Vice President of Technical Intelligence David Carey said the iPhone 4S’s hardware advances are similar to earlier incremental design changes. “Just as we saw a modest technology bump from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3GS, Apple is adopting the same model of iterative improvement and incrementalism as they gear up for the iPhone 5 platform.” By making only small changes to the hardware, the iPhone designers can concentrate on software improvements, such as voice-recognition, iCloud and a better digital image processing.

“The software experience – enabled by ‘good-enough’ hardware – is arguably what customers care about most in the end,” Carey said.

  • Joel Tague


  • MarkusRosin9768

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  • imajoebob

    Just an observation, but, absent the rumour-industrial complex’ ridiculous “promises,’ if this phone was labelled the iPhone 5, people would be killing each other for a place in line.  It’s basically a new phone on the inside, yet because it uses the same case and is only labelled 4S there’s something wrong with it?

    These same rumour mongers are now going to start sniping at Tim Cook.  I hope he inherited Jobs’ Reality Distortion Field, because these guys will be out for blood, if only because the absence of an iPhone 5 is a humiliation to them (not Cook or Apple).

  • God

    Shhhh…the longer people continue to complain the faster those of us that pre-order the phone will get it. Once it’s out there and people see how good of a device it is, the ship times will climb.

  • Bmclopez

    4s=4Steve hence they did not go for iPhone 5

  • MacHead

    Too many blogger losers think form is better than function. Somehow appearance has taken precedence over ability. The iPhone 4 is a damn good looking phone! The only reason people wanted a refreshed model is to be a showoff without having to explain this is the newest iPhone, the appearance explains that for you. I’m happy with the iPhone 4S design, would have liked to see a slightly larger screen but who cares the 4S is amazing!

  • Mike Rathjen

    “It’s basically a new phone on the inside, yet because it uses the same
    case and is only labelled 4S there’s something wrong with it?”

    Yes, of course! How on earth will people with an iPhone 4 know I’m better than them if they can’t tell by looking at my phone?!?


    As compelling as it is to get the news 4S and sign a new contract/sell my current iphone 4, I will say I’m gonna have to pass. As much of an internal upgrade it would be for the 4s, to me, I STILL see an iphone 4. iOS 5 will give me the fake internal makeover that the 4S will have and i will wait until the 5 comes out. 

  • Evan Benford

    Again…I just look at customer satisfaction ratings. Only thing i see rivaling iOS anytime soon is Windows Phone 7