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(Some Guy)   How much would it have cost to build an iPhone in 1991? Higher... Higher... You're not even close   (techpolicydaily.com) divider line 59
    More: Interesting, iPhone, MEMS, transceivers, digital economy, clock speed, Wolfram Alpha, Marc Andreessen, amplifiers  
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7499 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Feb 2014 at 6:04 PM (23 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-02-07 05:07:38 PM
You couldn't build the iPhone, a handheld phone with a supercomputer inside, at any price in 1991.

You couldn't buy enough flash memory for volume production, again at any price. People where I worked in 1992 were complaining about a shortage of flash memory to hold startup software and configuration for an X terminal. That's basically bootp and an ethernet driver.  Kilobytes, not gigabytes. If you order many gigabytes you would need enough lead time to build a factory to fill your order.
 
2014-02-07 05:25:43 PM
This is a very dumb article, even for Fark.
 
2014-02-07 06:09:10 PM
Yah now picture how much it'd cost to build the massive networking infrastructure that makes a smartphone anything other then a battery raping paper weight in the first place.
 
2014-02-07 06:09:13 PM
I brazzilion dollars and it would be as big as a house?
 
2014-02-07 06:10:17 PM
We had this article greened right before Xmas.
/mods already drunk greening
 
2014-02-07 06:21:48 PM
FTFA:  a gigabyte of flash memory, which is what the iPhone uses, would have cost something like $45,000, or more. (Today, it's around 55 cents ($0.55).)

At $0.55 a gigabyte, 16 GB of flash memory is worth about $8.80.  Price difference between iPhone 5s 16GB and 32GB = $100.
 
2014-02-07 06:23:45 PM

ZAZ: You couldn't build the iPhone, a handheld phone with a supercomputer inside, at any price in 1991.

You couldn't buy enough flash memory for volume production, again at any price. People where I worked in 1992 were complaining about a shortage of flash memory to hold startup software and configuration for an X terminal. That's basically bootp and an ethernet driver.  Kilobytes, not gigabytes. If you order many gigabytes you would need enough lead time to build a factory to fill your order.


Yep.

It's like saying 'HOW MUCH WOULD IT HAVE COST TO BUILD X IN ANCIENT POLYNESIA?!?!' when Polynesia had abacus and fire as 'pinnacle tech'
 
2014-02-07 06:24:08 PM

Dragonflew: FTFA:  a gigabyte of flash memory, which is what the iPhone uses, would have cost something like $45,000, or more. (Today, it's around 55 cents ($0.55).)

At $0.55 a gigabyte, 16 GB of flash memory is worth about $8.80.  Price difference between iPhone 5s 16GB and 32GB = $100.


and?  People apparently really don't object to getting hosed.  We try to tell you but iCustomers are a special lot.
 
2014-02-07 06:34:28 PM
It just goes to show that Steve Jobs gave us the greatest gift ever given, at the highest personal sacrifice to himself.
 
2014-02-07 06:40:52 PM

BumpInTheNight: Dragonflew: FTFA:  a gigabyte of flash memory, which is what the iPhone uses, would have cost something like $45,000, or more. (Today, it's around 55 cents ($0.55).)

At $0.55 a gigabyte, 16 GB of flash memory is worth about $8.80.  Price difference between iPhone 5s 16GB and 32GB = $100.

and?  People apparently really don't object to getting hosed.  We try to tell you but iCustomers are a special lot.


Hahahaha....  THIS  ^^^
 
2014-02-07 06:42:45 PM
I wish it could at least make a call like a 1991 brick phone.
 
2014-02-07 06:44:17 PM

scottydoesntknow: This is a very dumb article, even for Fark.

 
2014-02-07 06:45:41 PM
To be fair,

<i>This account also ignores the crucial fact that no matter how much money one spent, it would have been impossible in 1991 to pack that much technological power into a form factor the size of the iPhone, or even a refrigerator. </i>
 
2014-02-07 07:11:48 PM
How much would it have cost to build in 1971?

Let's see... a box of 5081 punch cards is 160000 bytes, so 50,000 boxes at about $10 each... $2 million, plus the cost of 2 tractor trailers to hold them, that's another $400,000.

A 3705 communication controller can handle 64 lines at 1200 baud, so about 100 of those to equal 15 mbps... they were probably $100K a piece.

/off my lawn please
 
2014-02-07 07:13:34 PM

Dragonflew: At $0.55 a gigabyte, 16 GB of flash memory is worth about $8.80.  Price difference between iPhone 5s 16GB and 32GB = $100.


Tony_Pepperoni: Hahahaha....  THIS  ^^^


The price difference between a LG Nexus 5 16GB and 32GB is 50 bucks.  But its a lower end phone.  A Galaxy III in the UK shows a $100 between the 16GB and 32GB models as well.  Its also a lower end phone.

/that's when you can find a 32GB model - most have expansion slots which nobody ever uses especially since most customers who own Android based phones don't actually use them for anything
//so what was your point again?  oh yea - you didn't have one
 
2014-02-07 07:21:49 PM

scottydoesntknow: This is a very dumb article, even for Fark.


No, it's not. It's simply pointing out that a previous article didn't fully explain itself, and attempted to flesh out the figures. It also pointed out that it's not really possible anyway since you couldn't fit it into a fridge, let alone an iPhone.

The previous article is the one that said "1991, get an iPhone for $3000!", this one i saying "no, even if you could put the bits together it'd be millions... and you can't put the bits together".
 
2014-02-07 07:23:25 PM

unyon: I wish it could at least make a call like a 1991 brick phone.


It's an analog vs digital thing, though in '91 you MIGHT have service in places like Manhattan.
 
2014-02-07 07:26:04 PM
I doubt the wages in China were higher back then.
 
2014-02-07 07:29:57 PM
But, how much would have a Steampunk Iphone cost in 1878, eh?
 
2014-02-07 07:51:52 PM
It's not about the price of the tech. It's about what you can do: Like that old Android (I think it was droid) commercial where the idiot straps on 15 gadgets so he can "do everything" then the phone store salesman points out that a smartphone can do all of that and more.

The one aspect where phones are (and will always be) hopelessly inferior to a good dedicated device is the camera. A good camera has optics multiple inches wide illuminating a sensor nearly an inch across, which physically can't fit inside a smartphone.
 
2014-02-07 08:04:48 PM
I know Moore's Law doesn't apply directly to price reductions (although it can be quite accurate in that regard), but the parts for an iPhone cost around $200.

Multiplying that figure by two for each of the fifteen 18-month periods since 1991, you get a cost of $6.5 million.

Which is well within the same order of magnitude as their cost estimate -- which didn't take into account all the phone's parts.
 
2014-02-07 08:09:55 PM

erik-k: The one aspect where phones are (and will always be) hopelessly inferior to a good dedicated device is the camera. A good camera has optics multiple inches wide illuminating a sensor nearly an inch across, which physically can't fit inside a smartphone.


Very true, but there does come a point of diminishing returns.  The camera in the Nokia Pureview series is probably better than most point and shoot cameras and approaches low end mirror-less cameras.  For most people, that's good enough.

Not everyone needs the quality of a DSLR or wants to carry one around.


unyon: I wish it could at least make a call like a 1991 brick phone.


I believe that analog phones were allowed to transmit about 4x the ERP of digital phones.  Also helped that most analog networks operated on lower frequencies (better range and building penetration).
 
2014-02-07 08:10:12 PM

dletter: But, how much would have a Steampunk Iphone cost in 1878, eh?


And I want that number down to the last groat what what!
 
2014-02-07 08:27:38 PM
From 1970 to 1985 I worked on mainframes that cost well over a million dollars 9about 5.4 mil in today's dollars), and filled up a specially cooled room. My iPhone has 10,000 times more CPU power, fits in my shirt pocket, cost under $1,000 and taps into a vast information network that grows by 70 library-of-congresses every day.
 
2014-02-07 08:30:11 PM

lepton68: From 1970 to 1985 I worked on mainframes that cost well over a million dollars 9about 5.4 mil in today's dollars), and filled up a specially cooled room. My iPhone has 10,000 times more CPU power, fits in my shirt pocket, cost under $1,000 and taps into a vast information network that grows by 70 library-of-congresses every day.


Nice perspective, but I'm sad to see that you've lepton to the Apple track and not embraced Android.
 
2014-02-07 08:30:28 PM

scottydoesntknow: This is a very dumb article, even for Fark.


And it's also based on a fark repeat to boot(the first sentence of the "article").  The thread iFanbois and the article claimed it had the "same capabilities" as everything int the ad, which was patently false.
(10 inch woofers, CB radio, CD players among the list)

At best, it could emulate(play mp3s), at worst, it accessed an online stream from an actual product(IE CB radio), but it could not actually perform, in and of itself, those same functions.
 
2014-02-07 08:33:19 PM
In 1992 2Gb wide SCSI hard storage was $2800.00

I'm tempted to believe they played with the other numbers also.
 
2014-02-07 08:39:05 PM

erik-k: It's not about the price of the tech. It's about what you can do: Like that old Android (I think it was droid) commercial where the idiot straps on 15 gadgets so he can "do everything" then the phone store salesman points out that a smartphone can do all of that and more.

The one aspect where phones are (and will always be) hopelessly inferior to a good dedicated device is the camera. A good camera has optics multiple inches wide illuminating a sensor nearly an inch across, which physically can't fit inside a smartphone.


If you had an iPhone in 1991, your functionality of what it can do today would be greatly impacted, much of it related to the internet.

The internet and modern software are what make it able to emulate those things.  Really, you'd have an over-fancy terminal...IF you had the ability to connect it to computers of the day(91 is pre-usb), write software for the interface, etc.

A real computer whiz with plenty of documentation might be able to do something with one that was beyond the scope of the "out of the box" included software.  Maybe.
 
2014-02-07 08:47:23 PM

gingerjet: Dragonflew: At $0.55 a gigabyte, 16 GB of flash memory is worth about $8.80.  Price difference between iPhone 5s 16GB and 32GB = $100.

Tony_Pepperoni: Hahahaha....  THIS  ^^^

The price difference between a LG Nexus 5 16GB and 32GB is 50 bucks.  But its a lower end phone.  A Galaxy III in the UK shows a $100 between the 16GB and 32GB models as well.  Its also a lower end phone.

/that's when you can find a 32GB model - most have expansion slots which nobody ever uses especially since most customers who own Android based phones don't actually use them for anything
//so what was your point again?  oh yea - you didn't have one



I got the 16GB android phone and put a 64GB card in it.  So there is one of us.  And at least I can.

/got sand in your expansion slot or something?
 
2014-02-07 08:48:07 PM

SansNeural: lepton68: From 1970 to 1985 I worked on mainframes that cost well over a million dollars 9about 5.4 mil in today's dollars), and filled up a specially cooled room. My iPhone has 10,000 times more CPU power, fits in my shirt pocket, cost under $1,000 and taps into a vast information network that grows by 70 library-of-congresses every day.

Nice perspective, but I'm sad to see that you've lepton to the Apple track and not embraced Android.


Back in 1984 I got a day one Macintosh and brought it to work. I pretty much got laughed out of the office. "You're gonna draw with a bar of soap?" Heh. They also swore up and down that a 5" hard drive could never in the future hold 20MB (Back then we had DEC Rainbow 100 PCs that sported 5MB drives).
 
2014-02-07 09:02:09 PM

BumpInTheNight: Dragonflew: FTFA:  a gigabyte of flash memory, which is what the iPhone uses, would have cost something like $45,000, or more. (Today, it's around 55 cents ($0.55).)

At $0.55 a gigabyte, 16 GB of flash memory is worth about $8.80.  Price difference between iPhone 5s 16GB and 32GB = $100.

and?  People apparently really don't object to getting hosed.  We try to tell you but iCustomers are a special lot.


Wait, did you just refer to me as an iCustomer? I don't and won't own a single iProduct. They are OK products, but their followers really turn me off.

I am just pointing out the Apple Tax that apologists don't seem to think exists. Google's Nexus 5 by comparison is $50 for another 16GB. Still high, but half what Apple charges for the same.
 
2014-02-07 09:04:06 PM

kiteless: gingerjet: Dragonflew: At $0.55 a gigabyte, 16 GB of flash memory is worth about $8.80.  Price difference between iPhone 5s 16GB and 32GB = $100.

Tony_Pepperoni: Hahahaha....  THIS  ^^^

The price difference between a LG Nexus 5 16GB and 32GB is 50 bucks.  But its a lower end phone.  A Galaxy III in the UK shows a $100 between the 16GB and 32GB models as well.  Its also a lower end phone.

/that's when you can find a 32GB model - most have expansion slots which nobody ever uses especially since most customers who own Android based phones don't actually use them for anything
//so what was your point again?  oh yea - you didn't have one


I got the 16GB android phone and put a 64GB card in it.  So there is one of us.  And at least I can.

/got sand in your expansion slot or something?


Didn't you know? Any feature an Android phone has that an iPhone does not have is useless and stupid, and you should feel bad for using it.
 
2014-02-07 09:04:27 PM

lepton68: SansNeural: lepton68: From 1970 to 1985 I worked on mainframes that cost well over a million dollars 9about 5.4 mil in today's dollars), and filled up a specially cooled room. My iPhone has 10,000 times more CPU power, fits in my shirt pocket, cost under $1,000 and taps into a vast information network that grows by 70 library-of-congresses every day.

Nice perspective, but I'm sad to see that you've lepton to the Apple track and not embraced Android.

Back in 1984 I got a day one Macintosh and brought it to work. I pretty much got laughed out of the office. "You're gonna draw with a bar of soap?" Heh. They also swore up and down that a 5" hard drive could never in the future hold 20MB (Back then we had DEC Rainbow 100 PCs that sported 5MB drives).


I really only responded to you so I could make a pun on your fark name.

When I was a youngish boy my older brother got from a trash bin some sort of accounting calculator/computer thing that had a horizontally sliding head with pegs you could move to "program" it.  Also had pegboard soldered + wirewrapped, transistor based logic.  The cool and weird thing was a hard disk with several fixed position read/write heads.  My best guess is it was for a bootloader of some sort, to get the accounting OS (of sorts) loaded so that the programming pegs could be read and keyboard input handled.  Dang.  Wish I could remember the brand - I could be mixing memories of a 5 function Friden calculator, also gathered from the trash by my older brother.
 
2014-02-07 09:20:27 PM
I guessed $12 million. You were right about me not being close but wrong about needing to go higher.
 
2014-02-07 09:24:23 PM

Dragonflew: Wait, did you just refer to me as an iCustomer? I don't and won't own a single iProduct. They are OK products, but their followers really turn me off.

I am just pointing out the Apple Tax that apologists don't seem to think exists. Google's Nexus 5 by comparison is $50 for another 16GB. Still high, but half what Apple charges for the same.


Ahh all good carry on carry on, we be on the same page.
 
2014-02-07 09:36:26 PM

2wolves: In 1992 2Gb wide SCSI hard storage was $2800.00

I'm tempted to believe they played with the other numbers also.


The iPhone has flash storage, not a hard disk.
 
2014-02-07 09:39:30 PM

drjekel_mrhyde: We had this article greened right before Xmas.
/mods already drunk greening


What makes you think they weren't drunk greening at Christmas time and genuinely forgot?
 
2014-02-07 09:42:12 PM
I'd have to dig up my copy of "Dealers of Lightning" out of the attic, but I remember being amazed at how much the original Xerox PARC Altos did cost to make with their ridiculous (for the time) amounts of RAM.
 
2014-02-07 09:49:16 PM

gingerjet: The price difference between a LG Nexus 5 16GB and 32GB is 50 bucks. But its a lower end phone. A Galaxy III in the UK shows a $100 between the 16GB and 32GB models as well. Its also a lower end phone.

/that's when you can find a 32GB model - most have expansion slots which nobody ever uses especially since most customers who own Android based phones don't actually use them for anything
//so what was your point again? oh yea - you didn't have one


So some of the android handsets fleece at the same level as Apple, some lower.  The second set of data is so wrong and pants on head retarded it doesn't even warrant a response.
 
2014-02-07 10:57:47 PM
In 1991, an 2014 calendar cost $40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00 0,000,000,000,000 ,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000,000,00 0,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000 ,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,0 00,000 ,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000,000,000,000,000,0 00,000,000,000,000.34 so I totally believe this article 100.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 999999999999999999999 9 99999999999999999999 999999999999999999999 999999999999999999999 99999 9999999999999999 999999999999999999999 999999999999999999999 999999999 999999999999 999999999999999999999 999999999999999999999 9999999999999 99999999 999999999999999999999 999999999999999999999 99999999999999999 9999 999999999999999999999 999999999999999999999 999999999999999999999 999999999999999999999%
 
2014-02-07 11:15:14 PM

gingerjet: Dragonflew: At $0.55 a gigabyte, 16 GB of flash memory is worth about $8.80.  Price difference between iPhone 5s 16GB and 32GB = $100.

Tony_Pepperoni: Hahahaha....  THIS  ^^^

The price difference between a LG Nexus 5 16GB and 32GB is 50 bucks.  But its a lower end phone.  A Galaxy III in the UK shows a $100 between the 16GB and 32GB models as well.  Its also a lower end phone.

/that's when you can find a 32GB model - most have expansion slots which nobody ever uses especially since most customers who own Android based phones don't actually use them for anything
//so what was your point again?  oh yea - you didn't have one


Actually,

The Nexus 5 came out 1 month later than the 5c, so comparing those two are a valid comparison.

Full retail price of the of the 5c at the time was 549 for the 16 gig, and the Nexus was $349.
 
2014-02-07 11:39:05 PM
All that in the hands to twelve year old girls who text each other about boy bands. Marvelous.
 
2014-02-07 11:40:15 PM
I found a Nokia 3210 in the pocket of a coat I've had in storage since 2003. It still had two bars of power left.
 
2014-02-07 11:42:12 PM

kroonermanblack: ZAZ: You couldn't build the iPhone, a handheld phone with a supercomputer inside, at any price in 1991.

You couldn't buy enough flash memory for volume production, again at any price. People where I worked in 1992 were complaining about a shortage of flash memory to hold startup software and configuration for an X terminal. That's basically bootp and an ethernet driver.  Kilobytes, not gigabytes. If you order many gigabytes you would need enough lead time to build a factory to fill your order.

Yep.

It's like saying 'HOW MUCH WOULD IT HAVE COST TO BUILD X IN ANCIENT POLYNESIA?!?!' when Polynesia had abacus and fire as 'pinnacle tech'


I have it on good authority that you just need to rush construction on the right monuments to boost your tech research.
 
2014-02-07 11:45:24 PM
Fark isn't closing enough threads fast enough.
 
2014-02-07 11:54:56 PM
One... hundred.. BILLION dollars?
 
2014-02-08 12:16:32 AM

anfrind: 2wolves: In 1992 2Gb wide SCSI hard storage was $2800.00

I'm tempted to believe they played with the other numbers also.

The iPhone has flash storage, not a hard disk.


Does TFA quote HDD prices?
 
2014-02-08 12:52:05 AM
...and yet it's still worthless to me today.
 
2014-02-08 01:32:10 AM

lepton68: From 1970 to 1985 I worked on mainframes that cost well over a million dollars 9about 5.4 mil in today's dollars), and filled up a specially cooled room. My iPhone has 10,000 times more CPU power, fits in my shirt pocket, cost under $1,000 and taps into a vast information network that grows by 70 library-of-congresses every day.


Yeah, but it only grows by  .01 NSAs per day.
 
2014-02-08 02:23:45 AM
Keep trying. All the ball-gargling in the world isn't going to bring Jobs back.
 
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