IHS iSuppli has done its own version of an iPhone 4S teardown, and included its typical estimates of the bill-of-materials (BOM) costs for the devices.
For each storage tier, the BOM was estimated to be $188, $207 and $245 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models, respectively. iSuppli's estimate for the 16GB iPhone 4, last year, was $187.51, so Apple has managed to keep its BOM nearly identical with last year, despite hardware upgrades.
In doing so, however, Apple made several changes, producing some winners --- and losers. The big loser was Intel, which purchased the Wireless Solutions Business portion of Infineon in 2010. The big winner, in its stead, was Qualcomm, The Infineon baseband processor has been replaced by Qualcomm's chipset, although Infineon still appears to produce a small part for the iPhone 4S.
Andrew Rassweiler, an analyst with IHS iSuppli who conducted the teardown, said “Qualcomm is the big winner here. It is selling Apple a whole suite of chips that adds up to about $14 to $15 per iPhone." In terms of Infineon, he said, “It’s almost like Apple threw them a bone with a 50-cent part after they lost a much more high profile chip that cost about $10."
In terms of other parts, the iPhone 4S' dual-core A5 processor costs $15, and is produced by Samsung. The A5 is also the processor in Apple's iPad 2. There was some speculation that Apple migth try to switch its A5 manufacturing to another OEM, due to its legal issues with Samsung, but iSuppli did not find any such evidence.
On the other hand, the flash memory chips, which Apple has been known in the past to acquire mostly from Samsung (Toshiba was another supplier) came from Samsung's rival Hynix Semiconductor.
Other parts are familiar: a compass from AKM, STMicro's gyroscope sensor, TI audio and touchscreen controllers, and Triquint wireless transmitters.
iSuppli said that it could not precisely determine the supplier of the new 8MP camera in the iPhone 4S. Although prior rumors had said that the camera was a Sony component, iSuppli said that the candidates for the camera parts include Largan Precision Co. and Omnivision. Either way, The design is known to carry a Sony sensor. Despite the uncertainty, iSuppli estimated that the camera adds $17.60 to the cost of the iPhone 4S.