iPhone 15 Pro Max costs Apple 8% more to make


iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are the first smartphones to include Thread mesh networking. But why?
The iPhone 15 Pro Max's new camera system is 34% more expensive.
Photo: Apple

A bill of materials (BoM) analysis of the iPhone 15 Pro Max provides insight into the prices of the individual components and how they have changed over the previous year.

Apple is charging $100 more for its flagship iPhone this year. And yet, the device only costs the company an additional $37.7 to manufacture over the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Some components get more expensive, and some cheaper

Counterpoint’s teardown and analysis claim the iPhone 15 Pro’s new A17 Pro chip is $30 more expensive than the iPhone 14 Pro‘s A16 Bionic. The new SoC is based on TSMC’s latest 3nm node and packs faster CPU cores. It also uses a new custom-designed Apple GPU with raytracing support to deliver better gaming performance.

Apple uses a new (and lighter) titanium alloy casing on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. This component is 18% more expensive than the iPhone 14 Pro’s steel chassis. Given how expensive titanium is, this is not surprising. The new camera system, including the new 5x optical camera, is 34% more expensive and costs an additional $25.1.

Interestingly, despite using a brighter display panel, it seemingly costs Apple less. The report claims the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s LTPO panel is 4% less expensive. This is likely due to LG Display joining Apple’s display supply chain, leading to more competition with Samsung Display.

The global fall in NAND and DRAM pricing also benefitted Apple, as it is saving 34% or $16.8 on these components over the iPhone 14 Pro Max. NAND prices are again expected to rise next year, so Apple is unlikely to enjoy the same savings on the iPhone 16 series.

Interestingly, a previous bill of materials breakdown of the iPhone 15 Pro Max from a different source claimed a 10% increase in component cost. More importantly, it indicated the new titanium chassis was a whopping 43% costlier to make, while the camera system was 3.8 times more expensive.

Apple did not hike the price of the iPhone 15 Pro Max

Technically, Apple has not changed the iPhone 15 Pro Max pricing this year. Instead, it has just removed the base 128GB model. So you must spend an additional $100 to get the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which now starts from $1,199 in the US before taxes. However, since the company’s production costs for the phone have reportedly only increased by $37.7, it enjoys a higher gross profit margin.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.