This year's Apple iPhone release included two flagship phones, the iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus, finally moving into the 4.7" and 5.5" mobile phone market. The iPhone 6 Plus is a competitive leap forward against such devices as the already released LG G3 and Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 -- Apple's toughest competitor, to be released in October.
It is interesting how times have changed. Back in 2007 when the original iPhone was released with a 3.5" display, it was considered a "large" phone. As Apple's competitors started delivering devices with larger displays, Steve Jobs himself thought it unimaginable for an iPhone display to be larger than 3.5". (He would later introduce the iPhone 4 with a 4" display and a large smile.)
The display size increases of the iPhone through the years.
Preliminary analysis of the iPhone 6 Plus estimates it costs $242.50 to build -- an increase of about 15% over the iPhone 5S. The estimated combined cost of Apple's new A8 processor and Qualcomm's MDM9625M modem account for $59.50 of the preliminary CoG, while the 5.5" display/touchscreen assembly costs another estimated $51.00. For the iPhone 6 the preliminary display/touchscreen costs about $41.50 with the iPhone 6 total CoG to be approximately $227.00.
Both devices have an intricately made back enclosure, which uses several pieces of extruded and machined metal work. We are estimating the cost for this piece on the larger iPhone 6 Plus to be around $15.
Cost comparisons for the iPhone 5S, and estimated costs for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
The increase in build cost was expected, considering the larger display, expanded cellular coverage, the addition of Near Field Communication (NFC), and a larger battery.
NFC + secure element + Touch ID
During the Apple announcement on September 9, Apple's Eddy Cue mentioned a "groundbreaking NFC antenna." Teardown.com did find an NFC IC with a secure element die, the NXP PN548, and we were able to identify with ease the Touch ID button. The NFC antenna, however, is still a mystery to us, and we will put our updates on the new antenna design as soon as we can.
What about the Sapphire?
Rumors about a protective sapphire display glass cover turned out to be false. Sapphire was present on both devices but instead only covering the smaller areas of the rear camera window and the Touch ID button like in the iPhone 5S.
Sapphire on the rear-camera window.
Touch ID button.
Apple has not increased the camera size in its iPhones since the iPhone 4S. Instead, Apple decided to keep the same size 8MP rear camera for both devices with some additional camera enhancements. With the iPhone 6 Plus, it also added optical image stabilization (OIS).
Rear camera on the iPhone 6 Plus.