Apple is said to be using a simpler battery board to help offset costs of 5 G modules on its next-generation iPhones.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo analyst MacRumors, using the 5 G Sub-GHz technology will increase Apple’s costs by $75-$85, while the cost of the millimeter-wave is $125-$135.
While Apple has broadly been putting “higher bargaining pressure” on its suppliers, the battery board is one area where Kuo believes suppliers will see the biggest cost trimming with Apple reportedly moving to a simpler and smaller design with fewer layers. The hybrid hard and soft battery board for the iPhone 12 will reportedly be 40–50% cheaper than the equivalent part in the iPhone 11 series, although this component is likely a small contributor to Apple’s overall costs.
Apple could switch to a solely soft board design by 2021 which would cut costs between 30-40% and iPhone 12.
Notably, it has been commonly rumored that the new iPhones are not sponsored by Apple’s loader or EarPods. If this is true, the company’s expenses will be that.