iPhone 15 Pro Max — here's how much it really costs Apple to make

iPhone 15 Pro Max shown in hand
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We were all disappointed to see the iPhone 15 Pro Max cost more than the previous Pro Max when it was announced last month. However, a new teardown reveals that Apple's flagship does indeed cost more to make. 

Thanks to a partnership between Fomalhaut Techno Solutions and Japanese news site Nikkei (via AppleInsider), the new iPhones have been taken apart and their components analyzed for cost, revealing how much Apple actually spends on making iPhones. And it turns out Apple's paying quite a bit more than last year to make these handsets. 

The final bill of materials for the iPhone 15 Pro Max is $558 according to this analysis, which is 12% more than the iPhone 14 Pro Max cost to make. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 Pro costs 8% more than the iPhone 14 Pro, the iPhone 15 Plus 10% more than the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 15 16% more than the iPhone 14.

You can see how these numbers translate into actual dollars in the table below.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14: Cost to produce
Row 0 - Cell 0 iPhone 15 series bill of materials/MSRPiPhone 14 series bill of materials/MSRP
Pro Max$558/$1,199$498/$1,099

Focusing back in on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the most expensive new part according to Nikkei and Fomalhaut's findings is the tetraprism telephoto camera. The new lens has enabled the newest Pro Max to offer 5x telephoto zoom, but at 3.8x the cost of the 3x telephoto camera previous Pro iPhones and the smaller iPhone 15 Pro use.

The new titanium-clad frame and A17 Pro chipset are also considerably more expensive than the previous stainless steel body and A16 Bionic chip of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, increasing in cost by 43% and 27% respectively.

Higher production costs and one price increase

Considering all the new iPhones cost a fair bit more to build than the last generation did, it's good news that Apple kept iPhone prices stable for all but one model.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a $100/£100 higher start price than the iPhone 14 Pro Max did at launch, but gets a basic storage bump as a deal-sweetener. Going from $1,099 to $1,199 works out as about an 8% price increase, meaning that Apple is eating a little of the extra cost itself.

Still, it's not like Apple is hurting in the profit department. Even with the bill of materials increasing for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple is still making 53% profit on each unit sold. But that doesn't take into account R&D costs, marketing, shipping, packaging, etc. 

Despite the increase in price, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is still our pick for the best phone you can buy today. 

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.