IHS estimates that the A8 processor plus an attached co-processor that handles information from the iPhone's many sensors cost a combined $20, or three dollars more than on the A7-based iPhone 5s. "It has more processing power than the A7, but it's about 13 percent smaller," he says.
Typically, when chips shrink from one manufacturing size to another, they consume less electricity while delivering the same computing power. In this case, Apple added some computing power, too. "Shifting to 20 nanometers is very new and cutting-edge," Rassweiler said. "That Apple has done this while also changing suppliers is a big step."
One new feature of the two iPhones is the addition of near field communications chips that will enable the Apple Pay feature. Chipmaker NXP Semiconductors made the main NFC chip, while a second company, ams AG, made a second one, called an NFC booster, that increases the signal's range and performance. "NXP is pretty much the de facto supplier for all NFC chips used in phones. However, the chip from AMS is one we have never seen used before," Rassweiler said.
Watch: Was Apple late to the game with NFC technology?
The NFC chips were combined in a category that IHS called "user interface and sensors" that added a combined $22 to both phones. Other chips in that category include the audio chip from Cirrus Logic, an accelerometer chip that detects the phone's movement from InvenSense and a second accelerometer from Bosch Sensortec. "We're not sure why the second accelerometer is there," Rassweiler said. "It may be for increased accuracy." Bosch also supplied a barometric sensor for detecting altitude, a feature that hasn't appeared on previous iPhone models, he said.
Other suppliers included chipmakers Broadcom and Qualcomm, which provided chips for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and for connecting to the cellular phone network, as well as power management chips to go with them.
Meanwhile, have you ever wondered what a teardown looks like? Glad you asked, because below we have a sped-up video of the iPhone 6 being being disassembled by IHS analysts at the company's lab in El Segundo, Calif. Enjoy.
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