Although Apple’s new iPhone 5s is the most expensive iPhone model when compared to other models on sale currently, a teardown of iPhone 5s internals and an estimated cost price has revealed that the Cupertino may have built the sought-after handset for under $200. Meanwhile, the research by IHS has revealed that the accompanying iPhone 5c may have cost around $173 in terms of raw materials and construction, which, even though the polycarbonate model is quite a bit cheaper than the new flagship, still equates to a rather healthy profit for Tim Cook’s men.

The figures are merely estimates, mind, and with IHS still to release a full report, it would be rather naive to cast aspersions. But one thing is almost certain – the Retina display of both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c is the most expensive component, by a considerable margin.

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IHS states that the 5s, which has been the most popular handset so far based on first weekend sales, cost at “at least” $199 for Apple to build, but while the iPhone 5c has been of far less interest to the consumer than its aluminum-clad cousin, the gulf in cost appears far less obvious.

It’s worth noting that IHS‘s research takes into consideration construction costs as well as just the raw materials, and considering the iPhone 5, released late last year, cost around $205 to make, Apple is doing a good job of driving down its overall production prices.

The iPhone 5c is, to all intents and purposes, an iPhone 5, with only slight alterations internally including a marginally better battery life. The device is quite a bit cheaper than the iPhone 5 and indeed, the iPhone 5s, so those looking for that full-on iPhone experience for a more reasonable price now have a pretty decent option at hand.

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Apple doesn’t like selling “cheap” handsets, but rather good handsets at lower costs. Having refined its cost prices and manufacturing processes to build a device as good as the iPhone 5 for, by the company’s reckoning, a much better price to the consumer, perhaps the move to conquer emerging markets such as India and China could well be on the cards.

IHS will publish its full report tomorrow, and we’ll be keeping a lookout for any interesting tidbits.

(via: AllThingsD)

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