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Breaking Down The True Cost Of An iPhone

Is an iPhone really worth more than the sum of its parts?


What's going on?

The iPhone has long since cemented its position as a status icon of the current generation. The current flagship, the iPhone 11 Pro Max, is no exception to this rule. It easily outperforms its smaller siblings in its series, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro and is regarded as one of the best phones on the market now. With prices starting from $1,099, it prompts the usual jokes about the selling of kidneys to finance it. Going into the figurative nuts and bolts of the phone, however, reveals that it could be produced for half what it sells for.


One of the most lauded parts of the phone is its processor. The A13 processor is one of the most powerful today, but despite all that performance, it goes for about $64. The device’s camera is probably the most expensive part of the phone, and it is one of the most significant upgrades from the previous phones. The camera costs $73.50. Even the impressive display costs only 66.50. Taking the costs of all the materials and components used to make it, TechInsights estimated that the cost to produce an iPhone 11 Pro Max is only about $490.50


However, this only tells part of the story. Apple not only has to produce the phone, but it also has to advertise it, pay salaries and pay for all kinds of research and development. These undoubtedly contribute to driving up the price and is the same case for other smartphone manufacturers.