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iPhone secrets revealed


Apple has been notoriously secretive about its suppliers for the new iPhone, but this weekend, after the iPhone became commercially available, analysts, bloggers and assorted techies got their first chance to bust open the mysterious new device, revealing the components within.

According to an analysis from iSuppli, the big winners in the iPhone deal were chip companies Samsung and Infineon and display module-maker Balda, all of whom provided key--and expensive--components for the iPhone, but a host of other companies are embedded in the device, including Broadcom, Intel, Texas Instruments, National Semiconductor, Cambridge Silicon Radio and Marvell Epson, Sharp and Toshiba Matsushita.

The biggest winner of all, of course, is Apple. iSuppli’s analysis of the hardware produced an estimated billable cost of materials and manufacturing at $265.83, which would produce a margin of 55% on each 8 GB iPhone sold at $600. And that’s not including any subsidy AT&T may be offering in exchange for its two-year contract.

German semiconductor supplier Infineon contributed the GSM/EDGE radio and baseband chip as well as power-management components, basically forming the communications heart of the device. The applications processor, which powers the device’s extensive computing and multimedia capabilities, came from Samsung as well as several of the flash and embedded memory components. Intel supplied additional memory components, while TI submitted its own power-management chip. Broadcom supplies a controller chip that manages the touch-screen interface, while Balda supplies the display module itself, a component iSuppli estimates costs $27, a full 10% of the manufacturing cost of the phone. Epson, Sharp and Toshiba meanwhile designed the display itself.

As for the other connectivity components, Marvell supplies the Wi-Fi baseband and Cambridge tossed in its Bluetooth radio.


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