Amazon's Fire Phone costs $205 to build

Amazon's debut entry into the smartphone arena, the Fire Phone, costs more than Apple's iPhone 5S to build, but less than Samsung's Galaxy S5.

(Source: iFixit)

A teardown of Amazon's first smartphone reveals that it costs more than the iPhone to build.

According to a report due to be released today, a preview of which was seen by Re/code, claims that the Fire Phone costs $205 to build, slightly higher than the $199 estimated build price of the iPhone 5S, but substantially lower than the $256 build price of Samsung's flagship Galaxy S5.

The Fire Phone sells for $199 with a contract from AT&T, and is available for $650 without a contract.

One of the biggest differences between the Fire Phone and the iPhone 5S and the Galaxy S5 is the display. Amazon chose to save money by going with a 720p display as opposed to one capable of 1080p full HD which cost only $27. Compare this to the display on the iPhone 5S, which was estimated to cost $43, or the display Samsung used on the Galaxy S5, which cost $63.

A teardown of the Fire Phone carried out by iFixit showed that Qualcomm and Samsung were the big winners when it came to its components:

  • Samsung K3QF2F200A-QGCE 16 Gb (2 GB) LPDDR3 RAM with the 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU with 450 MHz Adreno 330 GPU sandwiched into the die
  • Samsung KLMBG4GEAC-B001 32 GB eMMC NAND Flash
  • Qualcomm WCD9320 audio codec
  • Qualcomm QFE2320 multiband power amplifier
  • InvenSense MPU6500
  • NXP 47803 NFC controller
  • Qualcomm PM8941 power management IC
  • Qualcomm WTR1625L RF transceiver
  • Skyworks SKY85702-11 5 GHz WLAN front-end module
  • Qualcomm WCN3680 802.11ac combo Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM chip (which supports
  • Bluetooth LE 4.0 but isn't yet active, which means that the current range of smartwatches aren't yet supported)
  • InvenSense IDG2021 2-Axis OIS gyroscope

Amazon is using easy access to its empire as a lure, but whether this is a big enough pull to get users to swap their smartphones for the Fire Phone remains to be seen. There's also a worry that Amazon has packed too much of itself into the Fire Phone, and that users will feel that they are paying a premium for the privilege of being allowed to spend more money with Amazon.

Is the pseudo-3D "dynamic perspective" display enough to sell the Fire Phone, or are consumers wary of gimmicks? It's a gamble for sure, especally given the cost to build these devices, but only time will tell how it will play out.