A Bill-Of-Materials (BOM henceforth) story is always interesting as there are many ways you can spin it, depending on the angle which you are approaching from. After all, we only know one side of the story, but whatever arrangements that Apple has made with their suppliers and component vendors are industry secrets. It is openly known that Steve Jobs in the past had always done his best to squeeze the most out of his suppliers, and who are we to say the same mindset has not changed? Majority of such BOM calculations are based on standard issue “volume prices”, and things might be very different where Apple is concerned.
Still, let us see what UBM Tech Insights come from. They say that a 16GB iPhone 5 has materials worth around $168 to build it, with the most expensive component being the Apple A6 processor at $28 a pop, with the 4G LTE modem from Qualcomm coming in a close second at $25. Surprisingly, the larger display is not that expensive at $18 a pop, but bear in mind that these are extremely raw figures (and in all probability, inaccurate) as the iPhone 5 has yet to be properly analyzed.