The $400 iPhone SE costs Apple just $160 to build, according to IHS teardown
One of the key selling points of the iPhone SE, beside the 4-inch display for those who don't subscribe to the trend of larger screens, is the fact that you get all of Cupertino's high-end hardware at a modest-for-Apple $399 starting price. The iPhone SE is essentially an iPhone 5s kitted out like an iPhone 6s, and to those unperturbed by more sizable devices, is easily among the best in its field. There's no question that Apple has done well to consolidate such power and features into a more affordable parcel than its flagship. Judging by IHS' guesswork, however, the already cash-rich firm is still turning a very handsome markup.
The $399 16 GB iPhone SE model costs around $160 to make including components and manufacturing according to IHS, whose findings once again demonstrate just how greatly Apple's margins increase per storage increment. Many commentators and consumers have pleaded with Apple to offer expandable storage by means of a microSD slot over the years. Unsurprisingly, this has fallen on deaf ears, since the fruit company tends to charge an extra $100 at every wrung of the storage ladder. Case in point, those seeking more real estate with the iPhone SE will have to pony up $100 more, or $499, for the 64 GB variant. To Apple, however, the 64-gig edition apparently costs $170 to manufacture, which is a mere ten-buck increase on its side.
The general reception to the iPhone SE has been one of positivity. The past few years has seen smartphone display diameters rise sharply in a shift that has also forged a market for phablets. As such, most existing ~4-inch smartphones are under-powered, or at least not up to what the majority would consider as high-end.
If the iPhone SE does sell strongly, you can bet that it will have plenty of similarly spec'd company in the not-too-distant future. Having said that, the early signs are not looking too promising.