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Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly dismissed bill of material estimates as incorrect, but that's not stopping research firm IHS Markit to share its latest findings with industry analysts. This year, the firm estimates Apple spends $247.51 on the components that comprise one 4.7-inch iPhone 8 with 64GB of storage.
The estimate, which only accounts for hardware, not manufacturing, software and R&D, represents about 35 percent of iPhone 8's $699 sale price, reports Bloomberg. That figure is nearly identical to last year's iPhone 7, which carried an estimated $237.94 BOM, but came equipped with 32GB of flash memory.
The larger 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus boasts a BOM of $288.08, up from $270.88 with the iPhone 7 Plus, according to IHS. Along with a larger screen, the additional spend can be attributed to a revamped dual-camera array that costs $32.50. Like the iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone 8 Plus incorporates an optical image stabilization system for only one rear camera — the wide angle module. Apple's upcoming iPhone X features OIS on both wide and telephoto lensers.
Aside from a bump in storage and camera equipment, Apple made improvements to the handset's processing capabilities with the all new A11 Bionic system-on-chip.
Unveiled at a special media event earlier this month, Apple's iPhone 8 with A11 Bionic is an applications processor powerhouse that blows away its mobile chip forebears, and even matches low-end MacBook Pro models in certain benchmarks. Notably, the SoC is Apple's first to boast an in-house designed GPU.
The extra processing horsepower runs a $5 premium over last year's A10 Fusion SoC, which the firm pegged at $26.90.
As usual, the display and mechanical enclosures top the list as iPhone 8's most expensive components. This year Apple introduced True Tone display technology to iPhone, as well as a glass backing to enable inductive charging.
The IHS estimates should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. Cook has in the past denounced supply chain guesstimates, saying he has never seen a breakdown "that's even close to accurate."