COST OF BUILDING AN IPHONE. We have a much better picture of how much human labor is involved and now can show a conservative estimate of 17 hours of labor to build a device. Knowing Apple's cost structure in China, we can estimate they are spending around $30 to make an iPhone that has a total cost to create in the $300 neighborhood. Great information.
As an aside - I would love to have an unassembled iPhone, much like a nice LEGO set, that we could purchase - perhaps for $30 less than the standard cost - and build our own device. It would be a fantastic project to do with my son some weekend.
The bigger cost question this data point us to an answer on is how much it would cost to make an iPhone in the United States. If we assume that we are paying someone $10 an hour then this would raise the price of the device by around $150. So instead of $200 iPhone with contract you would be paying $350.
I admit that I do not have $150 to just throw away but, none the less - I would love to see Apple, at the very least, offer an American made iPhone. Yes - I would pay $150 more for the Yankee version and I suspect a great number of other folks would, too. Wrap that sucker in an American flag paint scheme and tap into that good old fashioned patriotism. Besides - at least our country is not stealing the name of your tablets and suing you to take it off the market. So, give it some thought Cupertino. We would love to see your manufacturing process come home.