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Apple Inc.

Apple Inc.

iPhone 3GS

Date: June 19, 2009
Retail price: Starting at $199
Cost of components: $179.16

Usually the cost of components goes down from one generation of a product to the next. The iPhone 3G, released in July 2008, cost $53 less to build than the original iPhone, released in 2007. But costs rose by about $5 for the iPhone 3GS. One reason is that the price of memory hasn't declined as quickly as in the past. The newest iPhone comes in two flavors, 16 gigabytes and 32 gigabytes, while the high-end version released in 2008 had 16GB of memory. An improved 3-megapixel camera with auto-focus costs more than the camera used in the previous generation. Finally, a new Samsung applications chip, at $14.46 a pop, costs a dollar more than last year.