The actual cost of your iPhone camera

Written by Andy Stout

Apple/RedShark NewsThe power of economies of scale: Not as expensive as you might think.

Mark ups on goods are nothing new, especially when it comes to iDevices, but even we were surprised when a teardown of the iPhone 7 revealed how cheap its camera components are.

The result, according to analyst firm Chipworks which does this sort of technical analysis for a living, is a rather paltry $26. Or about 9.5% of the unit’s total manufacturing cost, if you prefer.

The detail the company goes into is impressive. The iPhone 7’s iSight (is rear-facing) camera has a larger, ƒ/1.8 aperture compared to the ƒ/2.2 aperture used for iPhone 6s/6s Plus and features optical image stabilization and a six-element lens.  Although the 12 MP resolution and 1.22 µm pixel pitch hasn’t changed, the iSight’s camera chip is advertised as being 60% faster and 30% more efficient than its predecessor. The chip is a second generation Sony Exmor RS technology platform, probably fabricated using its 90nm technology.

Resolution remains at 12MP resolution with a 1.22 µm pixel pitch as per the iPhone 6, though the chip is advertised as being 60% faster and 30% more efficient than its predecessor.  

The unit’s FaceTime camera resolution, meanwhile, has been bumped up to 7MP. Again, this is centred around a Sony Exmor RS chip.

Other notable costs include a touchscreen that comes in at $37 and a battery that costs $4, and you are invited to speculate how many billions Samsung could have saved if it had spent a little more money in that area (though they were twice the size of the iPhone’s 7.45Wh).

Total cost of the iPhone parts is $275, which is a fascinating number when you consider that another noted analyst, IHS Markit estimated that an iPhone 6S cost just under $188 in parts to make. Indeed, to make sure that we are comparing apples with apples, the same company pegs the iPhone 7 costs at a slightly lower $225 (and the camera component at $20), but even so that’s a 20% rise in manufacturing costs in a generation.

With thanks to Peta Pixel for the heads up

Tags: Technology

Comments

Related Articles

24 May, 2020

Sensors need better technology, not more resolution

 

The Sensor of the Future

Replay: This was first published in 2013, but the discussion about sensor technology is as relevant as ever. Just how can...

Read Story

27 April, 2020

Maxon Cinema 4D S22 first release from the new subscription model

Maxon has updated Cinema 4D, the company's acclaimed VFX, 3D modelling, animation and rendering software, to version S22. This is the first release...

Read Story

27 April, 2020

LaCie Rugged drives are the perfect storage you need when going gets really tough [Sponsored]

There can't be many more extreme environments to be in than the Arctic tundra during a full white out blizzard. This is the sort of environment that...

Read Story