RIM’s (RIMM) would-be iPhone killer BlackBerry Storm costs a little more to build than Apple’s iPhone 3G, according to research firm iSuppli.
iSuppli estimates it costs RIM $203 to build each BlackBerry Storm, according to a report summarized by BusinessWeek. Meanwhile, it costs Apple (AAPL) about $175 to build each iPhone 3G, iSuppli estimated last summer.
One big difference: A $35 Qualcomm (QCOM) chip that lets the Storm work on more wireless carriers than the iPhone, including both CDMA-based carriers like Verizon Wireless (VZ) and GSM-based carriers like Vodafone (VOD). The Storm also has a better camera than the iPhone, though it appears to add greater bulk.
Does this mean each iPhone sold is more profitable than each Storm sold?
Not necessarily — key factors include the phone’s wholesale price, marketing costs, rebates, etc. But it’s possible: Apple’s components probably cost less than they did when iSuppli made its estimate last July, as supply prices dropped and Apple’s scale advantage increased. (Meanwhile, RIM makes money off BlackBerry email service subscriptions, which Apple does’t.)
Storm component winners include Qualcomm — RIM usually uses rival Marvell (MRVL); and Synaptics, which makes the $15 “click screen” overlay. Unfortunately, that click screen is one of the Storm’s worst features.
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