An increase in the bill of materials (BOM) for Apple’s latest iPhones “can’t be tied to a single area or feature”, IHS Markit said, although improved camera capabilities in iPhone 8 Plus were highlighted.
“The higher cost is the result of slower annual component cost erosion tied in with additional features. From a teardown perspective, the biggest cost adders would be the increased NAND flash memory content and new wireless charging components,” Andrew Rassweiler, senior director of cost benchmarking services said.
IHS Markit revealed the BOM for the iPhone 8 Plus with 64GB of storage is $288.08, which is $17.78 higher than for iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone 8 bill is $247.51, $9.57 more than iPhone 7. At launch, the devices cost $50 and $30 more than their predecessors, respectively.
One of the main upgrades under the bonnet is a new six-core, 64-bit A11 Bionic chip, manufactured using a new 10 nanometre process. This is said to enable the device to run around 30 per cent faster than 2016’s A10 CPU, run more efficiently at half the power, and improve battery life.
For the first time, all six cores of the CPU cluster can be activated at once, and A11 Bionic also features an all-new Apple-designed tri-core GPU, which offers 70 per cent better graphical performance than its predecessor.
“The chip is powerful for a phone of this size, and used to push the phone’s augmented reality (AR) experience”, IHS Markit said.
In terms of screen, iPhone 8 will not feature an edge-to-edge OLED display (unlike the premium iPhone X), instead carrying the same LCD displays as previously, but with new support for HDR rendering to give video content higher dynamic range and visual quality.
The devices gain new camera sensors, which “have been calibrated for AR”, with the A11 Bionic chip also optimised for AR. Slow motion video capture is also smoother.
“From our BOM analysis, we can see that Apple invested heavily in the camera capabilities of the iPhone 8 Plus due to the increase in component costs.”
“Based on these investments, we expect improvements not only in the optics in the dual camera module, but also in computationally intensive requirements of the portrait lighting capture feature that rely on the graphical horsepower and neural engine (AI) of the A11 Bionic chip,” said Wayne Lam, principal analyst mobile devices and networks at IHS Markit.