* iPhone 3GS costs slightly more to make than 3G model
* Features chips from Samsung, Toshiba, Broadcom
SAN FRANCISCO, June 24 (Reuters) - Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) new entry-level iPhone model costs $179 in materials and manufacturing expense, according to a teardown analysis on Wednesday by research group iSuppli.
The 16-gigabyte version of the new iPhone 3GS carries a bill of materials of $172.46 and costs $6.50 to make, iSuppli estimated.
The phone retails for $199, although it is heavily subsidized by exclusive U.S. carrier AT&T Inc (T.N) with the purchase of a service plan.
Last year, iSuppli estimated the materials and manufacturing cost for the entry-level, second-generation 3G iPhone at $174.33.
ISuppli analyst Andrew Rassweiler said in a statement the iPhone 3GS is similar to the 3G from a component and design perspective.
“By leveraging this commonality to optimize materials costs, and taking advantage of price erosion in the electronic component marketplace, Apple can provide a higher-performing product with more memory and features at only a slightly higher materials and manufacturing cost.”
The iPhone 3GS went on sale last Friday and sold more than 1 million units in the first three days of launch, Apple has said. (Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)