A new report from UBMTechInsights.com says the new BlackBerry Z10 costs about $15 more to build than Apple's king o' the smartphone ring, iPhone 5. The site broke down the Z10 components and "estimated" the value of each part. I emphasize the word estimated because the following fine print appears at the bottom of UBMTechInsight.com's component-cost breakdown:
"Estimate only since device has not been fully analyzed – final estimate is expected to be different"
Huh. So this cost comparison shouldn't really be considered authoritative, and as such I won't spend too much time digging into it. Production costs don't really mean much to the average consumer anyway, expecially since most brand new, high-end devices cost $199.99 with a new two-year contract in the United States anyway. Bottom line: The teardown estimates that the BlackBerry Z10, which is only available with 16GB of built-in storage, costs $154 to build, while the 16GB iPhone 5 costs $139.20.
The Z10 is not yet available in the United States, but it's selling for as little as $149.99 in Canada (with a new service contract), which means it's selling for less than it costs to make it—if the teardown is accurate—in at least one market.
One more point of note from the report though aligns nicely with the conclusion of my BlackBerry Z10 review, which I wrote weeks ago:
"The Z10…lacks some key apps such as Netflix, Instagram, and others that the average person would want in a phone right out of the box. If some of these applications are missing, there needs to be a 'wow-factor' that would encourage a Samsung or Apple user to make the switch to the Blackberry Z10."
The lack of quality BlackBerry 10 apps from big-name companies is a very real problem for BlackBerry, and neither the Z10's production cost or retail price will mean much in the end if potential BlackBerry buyers decide to stick with Android or iOS because BlackBerry doesn't offer the apps they've come to rely on.
Check out the chart above for more specifics from UBMTechInsight's BlackBerry Z10 teardown—but, remember, it's just an estimate.