A teardown analysis of Apple's iPhone estimates that the company is making about $333 on each sale of a 8GB iPhone.
Market research firm iSuppli (watch them get sued for violating Apple's iTrademarks) put out one of their patented teardown analyses Tuesday. They estimated that Apple paid a total of $265.83 in hardware costs to build each 8GB iPhone, not including royalties or logistics expenses such as distribution, the report said.
The report confirms a few things we already knew, such as Apple's decision to use an ARM chip inside the iPhone. Samsung is the big winner among the component suppliers, contributing the ARM processor as well as flash memory and RAM inside the iPhone. Apple and Samsung are already close partners on iPod development, so perhaps that's not a huge surprise.
Two companies, Balda and TPK Solutions, collaborated to build the display module that's been such a big part of the iPhone's appeal. The touch-screen itself comes from either Epson, Sharp, or Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology, according to iSuppli. UPDATED: iSuppli issued a correction to this section late Friday, now saying they "believe" Balda and TPK are the display module suppliers. And it's Epson Imaging Devices Corp., which is different from the printer company.
The bill-of-materials estimate isn't foolproof, but it does give us some idea of how Apple is assembling the iPhone. If the profit margins are accurate, and Apple sold about 500,000 iPhones over the weekend (most of which were the 8GB model), that means the company made over $160 million on iPhone weekend. Apple's third-quarter ended on Saturday, which means we might get a true picture of the first weekend's iPhone sales when Apple reports earnings later this month.