The iPhone SE costs half as much to build as to buy

An investigation into the iPhone's insides

A peek inside the guts of an iPhone SE has revealed that the $399 smartphone costs about $160 to make, as well as sharing many parts with its predecessors.

Consumer analytics firm IHS took apart the device and appraised the cost of its parts, revealing in a news release that it estimates the 16GB model of the SE to cost approximately $156.20, rounded up to $160 when including manufacturing costs.

The device also takes a few notes from the previous three iPhones, utilizing almost exactly the same casing structure as the iPhone 5S, an identical secondary camera and LTE reception component to the iPhone 6, and the A9 processor and primary camera currently outfitted for the iPhone 6S.

The IHS' Teardown and Cost Benchmarking Service also put together a sneak peek inside the SE's architecture, showing the part-by-part breakdown of the smartphone that we'd otherwise have to throw the device under a steamroller to see.

The iPhone SE as seen piece by piece

Image Credit: IHS

Andrew Rassweiler, senior director of cost benchmarking services at IHS, remarked that despite borrowing a few bits from past iPhones and selling for more than twice its production costs, the iPhone SE is no slouch in terms of power.

"In fact", said Rassweiler in the IHS press release, "the only significant tradeoffs a consumer would make with the iPhone SE against the iPhone 6S is smaller size and lower screen resolution".

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