Why the iPhone 14 got an old processor and what you need to know about the “cost” of iPhones


Do you know what iPhone cost price, for which you pay from 700 to 1000 and even more dollars? Here I don’t know. Because the cost price is a huge number of variables that can change from region to region in which a particular device was assembled, not to mention other aspects like memory size, processor modifications and development costs. But there are also logistics and advertising costs, which differ in one direction or another depending on the model. Therefore, the maximum that we can find out will not be the cost, but the cost the components that make up the iPhone, and even that is exemplary. But can we trust her, now we’ll figure it out.

Every year after the release new iPhones experts are not only studying the capabilities of smartphones, but also their hardware. First, it allows you to see how the layout of the internal elements has changed and what’s new there. And, secondly, this way you can quite accurately (albeit not 100%) calculate the cost of the components that form the device.

A16 Bionic processor – price

Experts from the consulting agency Nikkei studied the hardware composition of the iPhone 14 Pro Max and came to the conclusion that this is the most expensive smartphone for Apple in history. Because the combined cost of its components was even more than $500. They say that Cupertino has never spent more than on him. How about really? Now let’s figure it out.

The most expensive component of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, surprisingly, was not the display at all, as it used to be, but A16 Bionic processor. According to the Nikkei, its cost is as much as $110. This is almost 2.5 times more expensive than the A15 Bionic that was in the iPhone 13 and is used in the iPhone 14 today. It is rather difficult to rationally explain such an increase in price, given that the new chip has become more powerful than the old one by only 8-13%.

The key reason for the increase A16 Bionic pricesprobably became an overlay of factors. There is a general shortage of semiconductors, which has not been overcome since the pandemic, and periodic lockdowns of manufacturers, and an increase in the cost of components for the production of processors, including neon gas. In addition, the reduction in supply volumes probably affected the price, because this year Apple ordered top-end processors for only two smartphone models, and not for four, as before.

How much does the iPhone 14 Pro Max cost?

Frankly, I was very surprised by the news that the iPhone 14 Pro Max has become the most expensive smartphone for Apple in terms of component cost. Allegedly, the assembly of all past devices cost the company less than $500. But, if you look into the situation, it turns out that the 256 GB iPhone 13 Pro cost Apple $570, and the iPhone 12 Pro about $550. But there is also data about $406.

Here we must understand that the final calculation depends on who counts. The Nikkei agency always gets lower numbers than the rest. When the cost of the components of the same iPhone 12 Pro experts calculated it, we saw a result of 406 dollars. And when TechInsights gets in on the action, we get higher numbers because these guys counted a whopping $550.

What caused such a large difference in the calculations, it is not clear. Most likely, the discrepancy is tied precisely to what exactly to take into account. So, one group of experts takes into account the cost of the hull and assembly services, while the other does not. I believe that this is the case, although I still cannot say for sure. This creates confusion as to who is right and who is wrong. Therefore, it is not clear who can be trusted and from whose data one can really build. It’s not that I don’t believe that the iPhone 14 Pro Max is costing Apple more than its predecessors. There is simply no objective data on its cost, and I cannot rely on specific figures.

What processor is in the iPhone 14

However, there is no doubt about one thing. Even assuming that A16 Bionic processor costs less than $110, obviously Apple had to pay more for it than it did for the A15 last year. That means the use new chipset in iPhone 14 would lead to an increase in the cost of a smartphone, which at a price of $ 799 would simply become unprofitable.

How much the iPhone 14 would have cost Apple in this case is difficult to say. Even though the cost of base model components, including assembly, has decreased by 10% over compared to iPhone 13 due to the use of a simpler and therefore more maintainable design, it was impossible to use the new chip. Otherwise, we could expect a very significant increase in retail iPhone 14 priceswhich many would simply not have endured.

Be that as it may, Apple in any case acted in the most optimal way. Trust me, it’s not in a company’s interest to deliberately degrade their products, risking a potential drop in demand. Before making a final decision, Cupertino studied the market conditions and chose the lesser of evils. Raising the price of the iPhone 14Apple could lose even more, so it was decided to leave it without the A16 Bionic processor.

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