Cost of Making an iPhone 4S? At Least $188, Consultancy Says

Apple Inc's (NASDAQ:AAPL) spends at least $188 in component costs to make each of its fifth-generation iPhone 4S, consultancy and research firm IHS iSuppli estimated Thursday.

The cost to make the iPhone 4S, which starts at $199 for the 16GB version with a wireless plan contract, totals at least $196 when $8 in manufacturing cost is added, according to an analysis by IHS iSuppli, which broke open the phone.

Apple has never revealed how much it costs to make the iPhone, which accounts for about 40 percent of its revenue.

The bill of materials, or cost of all components, for a 32 GB version is $207 and the high-end 64GB version is $245. IHS iSuppli estimated.

The estimates account only for hardware costs and do not include other expenses such as software, licensing, royalties or other expenditures, IHS iSuppli said.

The two other iPhone 4S models are similar to the 16 GB model, but with more NAND flash memory, the group said.

Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S in the new smartphone's first three days on the market, helped by availability in more countries and on more telecommunications carrier networks.

Unveiled just a day before Apple Chairman Steve Jobs died, it was initially dubbed a disappointment, partly because it looked identical to its predecessor. But anticipation of its ''Siri'' voice software helped it set an online record in pre-orders on Oct. 7.