Estimating how much any given smartphone costs to produce is always a interesting topic, because it allows industry analysts to guess at just how much money manufacturers are making off their devices. BusinessWeek is reporting that market research firm iSuppli has performed a ‘tear-down analysis’ of the BlackBerry Bold’s private parts and determined that the parts and materials used to make the Bold cost $158.16. With the added cost of assembly and testing, the final cost is $169.41.
“That’s a nice price,” says Charles Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Co. in New York. Assuming RIM sells the device to carriers at about $350, the component costs imply a gross margin of about 45%, in keeping with the gross margins on other RIM devices, he says. The cost estimates from iSuppli don’t include several expenses, including software, marketing, and shipping, and so don’t give a precise indication of the device’s margins.
In comparison, the estimated assembly cost for the BlackBerry Curve is $103, while the iPhone 3G came in at $174.33. If RIM can ever get the Bold launched on AT&T, they’ll be seeing a pretty good return, and a better margin than Apple’s making on the iPhone 3G.