93.22% Spurious analysis?

Things we don’t yet know about the iPhone:

  • The processor (likely ARM of some sort, apparently – my guess of low-voltage Intel was right for Apple tv, wrong for iPhone, it seems)
  • The graphics subsystem (Nvidia?)
  • The type of touchscreen (Synaptics?)
  • Pretty much anything else about the hardware, come to think of it.

Things iSuppli claim to have worked out, based on their analysis of the above:

  • 4Gb iPhone to carry a $229.85 hardware cost, $245.83 total expense, 49.3% margin.
  • 8Gb iPhone to carry a $264.85 hardware cost, $280.83 total expense, 46.9% margin.
  • a ‘high degree of confidence’ in their conclusions, though:
  • …they’re preliminary ‘until we perform an actual physical teardown and analysis’ (code for: ‘find out what’s inside the thing’)

Things one might conclude about iSuppli:

  • They have no idea what ‘5 significant figures’ means.
  • They think ‘high degree of confidence’ means ‘we reckon that’s about right. Look, we added it up on the back of a fag packet, and everything.’

To be fair – and as their own article rather than the truncated press release points out – they’ve done lots of this sort of thing before. However, I’d believe them much more if they quoted “~$245±15%”, or whatever. But if they said that, all we’d be able to take from their analysis would be that Apple’s possibly going to make roughly the same margin on iPhone as they do on their other hardware. Which… isn’t particularly surprising. Nor interesting.

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