The 3G iPhone Only Costs 101 Sale iTunes Movie Rentals to Make?

I know, the title is a bit confusing, so let me elaborate. Recently, industry analysts have determined that it only costs about $100 dollars to manufacture the new 3G iPhones. That’s right, only $100.

We were all shocked and awed by the rumor that the iPhone 3G would only cost $199. Then we were all amazed that the rumor was true. “How could this be?” we said. “They will lose money!” we screamed. We were wrong.

The raw cost of materials to build the iPhone 3G could be nearly half that of the original model, according to Portelligent Inc. (Austin) that conducted a teardown analysis of the first handset. The first phone had a bill of materials estimated at $170 at launch, but the iPhone 3G could have a BOM as low as $100 when it debuts July 11.

Now, I know companies don’t do things to lose money, so I shouldn’t be surprised.  I just wonder what the hoopla behind the phone being “subsidized” by an expensive data plan is all about.  There is no real subsidy needed here.  Apple and AT&T are just getting richer and richer.