Monday, 11 January 2021 11:17

iPhone 12 bill of materials shows it cost 21% more than iPhone 11: Counterpoint

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iPhone 12 bill of materials shows it cost 21% more than iPhone 11: Counterpoint Image by Lukas Gehrer from Pixabay

The cost of the blended materials for the iPhone 12 with 128GB of NAND flash comes to about US$415 (A$537), an increase of 21% over the iPhone 11, the technology research firm Counterpoint Research says after the latest bill of materials analysis by its own component research practice.

Researcher Ethan Qi said the self-designed parts in the iPhone 12 - the A14 bionic, PMIC, Audio and UWB chips made up close to 17% of the overall cost of the bill of materials.

Switching from an LCD screen to an OLED screen had added about US$23 to the cost.

Other cost increases came from the inclusion of 5G-related components, like the modem, transceiver and RF front-end system, all of which resulted in a US$34 rise, Qi said.

The company said producing a 128GB iPhone 12 mmWave device would cost up to US$431, 26% more than the iPhone 11. This was despite cost savings of US$27 due to the simplified RF design.

bom iphone12

In calculating the US$415 figure, the firm said it had assumed a 38% mix of mmWave devices. Major areas of cost increase were the application processor, 5G baseband, display and 5G RF components.

The A14 bionic had 11.8 billion transistors, about 39% more than the 8.5 billion in the A13, Qi said. "Given the much higher 5nm wafer cost (nearly double that for 7nm), the application processor alone is estimated to introduce a cost increase of over $17," he said.

"Our analysis also suggests Apple’s self-designed components including the A14, PMIC, Audio and UWB chip make up over 16.7% of the overall bill of materials cost."

Overall, Qi Said the bill of materials showed that Apple had diversified its sources of supply.

"For the iPhone 12, the memory orders are split between industry leaders, with Samsung and KIOXIA (Toshiba) supplying NAND flash, and SK Hynix and Micron supplying LPDDR4X," he pointed out.

"The camera content shares are largely gained by Sony, LG Innotek and Sharp. NXP and Broadcom continue providing solutions for wireless connection and display/touch control.

"Cirrus Logic, Goertek, Knowles and AAC dominate the audio design. TI and ST are major suppliers of power and battery management IC. Apple has also expanded its co-operation with ASE/USI, leveraging the latter’s SiP (System in Package) packaging technology to miniaturise the design."


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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