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Thread: Real costs of flashlights?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default Real costs of flashlights?

    I was just curious, if an iPhone typically costs Apple $15 to manufacture and sold in access of $200. How much do you think a SureFire or other high end flashlighst cost to produce?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real costs of flashlights?

    iPhones cost more than $15 to produce. About 10x that.

    Given that DX sells lights at $15 for a profit, I'd guess SF spends maybe 150%-200% as much as that, with the money going into materials (switches, optic design, HAIII/Chemkote, circuits) and labor costs.

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    Default Re: Real costs of flashlights?

    You saying it costs $150 to produce an iPhone, i'm afraid you're wrong. Perhaps $15 is an rounded off number, but you can be assured, It cost below $20.
    I wonder how much more tech is involved in producing a flashlight than there is in an iPhone. Looking as SureFire's customers, they probably produce in similar quantities as well.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Real costs of flashlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Splunk_Au View Post
    I was just curious, if an iPhone typically costs Apple $15 to manufacture and sold in access of $200. How much do you think a SureFire or other high end flashlighst cost to produce?
    Your first sentence has nothing to do with your question.

    Your logical progression of:
    If Apple costs.... then Surefire costs.....
    is non sequitur.

    It would be better to simply ask "how much do you think a SureFire or other high end flashlight cost to produce?"

    I hope you don't really expect a definitive answer, or even a reasonably accurate educated guess.

    While we're asking questions..... why did you post a flashlight thread in the off-topic forum?

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real costs of flashlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Splunk_Au View Post
    I was just curious, if an iPhone typically costs Apple $15 to manufacture and sold in access of $200. How much do you think a SureFire or other high end flashlighst cost to produce?

    Quote Originally Posted by Splunk_Au View Post
    You saying it costs $150 to produce an iPhone, i'm afraid you're wrong. Perhaps $15 is an rounded off number, but you can be assured, It cost below $20.
    I wonder how much more tech is involved in producing a flashlight than there is in an iPhone. Looking as SureFire's customers, they probably produce in similar quantities as well.

    You are ignoring the highest cost of any product -- labor. The cost of materials is always laughable in comparison. The cost of labor associated with BOTH development and production are astronomical in comparison. Total cost is a MINIMUM of at least 10x the material/component costs for most manufactured goods.

    When it comes to cell phones in particular, every company sells them at a loss. They make their money off the plan, not the phone. Real costs for most cell phones are ~$300-$800 per unit, and the money is made from your 2 year contract.

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    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real costs of flashlights?

    The definitive data on iPhone production cost: http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/cellphone...tax-229664.php

    "iPhone Only Costs $250 to Make; Rest of Price is Fanboy Tax

    So you thought the iPhone's insanely high price tag is due to all the fancy technology inside? Not so, my friend. That touchscreen that everyone is popping tents over only costs $33.50, with the touchscreen controller adding a mere $1.15 to the price. In fact, Apple stands to make a healthy 50% profit on both versions of the iPhone sold, with the costs of the 4- and 8-gig models only running $245.83 and $280.83, respectively. "

    Link includes full component list cost breakdown.

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    Flashaholic* chesterqw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real costs of flashlights?

    then a ferrari will be very cheap won't it?
    if killing was legal, i would have killed countless number of people...

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    Default Re: Real costs of flashlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Splunk_Au View Post
    but you can be assured, It cost below $20..
    Those must be Australian dollars. $20 production for an iPhone is absurd. More than 10X that number. It's easy to find detailed confirmation of that on the web, impossible for you to show any credible evidence of a cost that low.

    AT&T subsidizes the $200 retail price of the 8 gB iPhone, or it would still be selling for twice that.

    To your point (if there was one) the metal fabrication and finishing in the quantities involved is expensive. My guess would be a $70 retail Fenix costs perhaps half that to produce in China. Not less than $20. And I have been involved in electronics production for 20 years, including a few for Apple in the day of the Apple ][.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Real costs of flashlights?

    If i had to blame a company for selling with to much profit it would be apple. You can always find a product from another manufactor that is as good for 30% less. A friend needed an adapter to connect his TV to the mac. That little peace of plastic and wire cost 30 Euros. Now he needs a new charger, im sorry for him.
    Last edited by worldedit; 12-11-2008 at 04:45 AM. Reason: typo


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Real costs of flashlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by worldedit View Post
    If i had to blame a company for selling with to much profit it would be apple. You can always find a product from another manufactor that is as good for 30% less.
    Then I guess you'll never own a Surefire flashlight...

    There are plenty of buyers willing to pay more for what they accept as value. There's no doubt that you can find a Chinese light that costs a fraction of the SF, and piece together a motherboard and powersupply for $400 instead of buying the far more elegant Mac.

    I'm on both sides of this argument. I bought a SF 9P back when they were a new product. It was very expensive at that time. Today, I am on the side of buying three Fenix lights instead. But I'm typing this on my MacBook, connected to the internet over an Airport.

    By my valuation in the current market, the technology value of the Fenix and the Apple products appeal to me.

    You'll have some who say why spend $70 on the Fenix, buy a DX and mod it for a total of $30, and some who would defend the $200 Surefire as the only way to go.

    But I say again, Apple's production cost (and I am not including development and overhead) is WAY more than any $15-20. Ten times that.

    See:
    http://www.pcb007.com/pages/zone.cgi?a=22086

    You can throw rocks at Apple, or Surefire, but many will defend owning the "superior" product in their estimation.

    In the cellphone market, prices are distorted by payments made by the carriers to subsidize the phone costs in order to use the nifty new phone to gain new subscribers.

    And while I don't own but one Surefire, I have pretty much only owned Macs since the mid 80's. They have always offered enough value to defray the extra cost, and I am certain most Surefire owners feel the same. I also own a $200 iPhone, and it is a great product. Far better than the Palm Treo it replaced, and there are parallels in the rapid development of flashlights with advanced Cree LED's and the electronics required to convert battery power for the best efficiency.

    You can see that mass marketers here in the US sell Mag Instruments lights in the $20 US range. These very high volume products probably cost something near that figure to produce, and I'm certain their costs are higher than their China based competition. See:

    http://www.maglite.com/Mag_commitment.asp.

    The sale prices in the mass market include only thin margins, approaching the cost of production. We can safely presume there is a few dollars of extra cost in the US product, so a Chinese product of similar type is likely to cost a good bit less. I'd guess half that, but only if the volume is very high. And in many cases, that lower cost product would not have the refinement of the
    Mag.

    I believe we are seeing a huge shift with Chinese production and design improving. After all, the iPhone is produced in China, and be assured that it is not a simple or easy product to fabricate and assemble. It is beautifully made, and very, very complex. See:

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/First-Look/iPhone3G

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Real costs of flashlights?

    There's one constant in the manufacturing world-prices drop dramatically as quantities rise. A SureFire may well cost more to make than an similar quality Chinese flashlight just by virtue of the lower production numbers. It's mainly the metal parts which drop dramatically in cost at high quantities. Most electronic parts only drop perhaps 10% getting 100,000 as opposed to 10,000. Offhand, my best guess is a typical SureFire LED light costs perhaps $40 to make. However, factored into that $200 retail price is the no questions asked warranty. If a light will be subject to abuse sometimes that along makes it worth the extra money. Generally though for most casual users high-end lights can't be justified by their cost. Think of them instead of collector's items which you pay a premium to own for either the name, or perhaps the fit or finish. For what it's worth, my cheap modded DX light does everything I need it to. I just couldn't justify an expensive light for myself, even if I could afford one.

    I started a similar thread on this a few months ago discussing real versus perceived value of high-end products. Lots of interesting answers on both sides of the coin.

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