Soon after the iPhone Mark 1 launch last year, we brought you an estimate of its manufacturing cost, and now the same analysts have looked at the iPhone 3G. Portelligent thinks that this time Apple may pay as little as $100 for the components, down from $220 for the original. The saving's made in engineering advances and Apple's buying power: the extra 8GB in the 16GB version may cost as little as $20, but you'll pay $100 for it. "But we're only paying $199 for the phone, so Apple make less!" you may point out. True, but Apple may be charging AT&T as much as $400 for each unit. And with 70 countries eager to buy iPhones, the analysis suggests it might be Apple's most profitable device yet. [EETimes via Yankeegroup via Fortune]
I spoke with someone at ATT yesterday, and they said that you didn't have to qualify for an upgrade to get the $199 price, and that it was available to everyone. They also said that the $30 3G data plan would include 200 sms messages.
Why doesn't ATT just put up a page with all of the plan details for the 3G iPhone? They are doing nothing but confusing their potential (and current) customers.