What smartphones really cost

Smartphones may be pretty uniform in price at the store, but what they cost to manufacture -- and their price without a two-year contract -- varies wildly.

1 of 6
BACKNEXT
Apple iPhone 4 (16 GB)
Component cost: $187.51
Price without contract: $599
Price with contract: $199
Lowest available price: $197 (Wal-Mart)

Unlike other smartphone manufacturers, Apple generally doesn't allow its devices to be sold for any less than in its stores, so $199 is almost certainly what you're going to pay for a new iPhone 4 with a two-year contract. Buying it at Wal-Mart will knock that down a buck or two.

With component costs of nearly $190, the iPhone 4 is the most expensive smartphone on the market to manufacture, according to research firm iSuppli. The largest single component of that cost is the iPhone's Retina Display, which costs an estimated $30 to make.

But the real wallet wallop comes if you break or lose your iPhone 4 and have to replace it before your contract is up. Buying one without AT&T's subsidy will set you back a jaw-dropping $600.


NEXT: Samsung Galaxy S - Vibrant
Last updated September 08 2010: 11:10 AM ET
Source: Component cost estimate from iSuppli
  • Find Homes for sale
    Real estate and homes for sale on Trulia

  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
  • New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
  • Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
More Galleries
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More
Royal wedding: How much will it cost? Meghan Markle's wedding to Prince Harry could cost millions once security is included in the bill. See how the costs break down. More
Robot co-workers? 7 cool technologies changing the way we work Experts believe humans and machines will work much more closely together. More

Special Offer