No significant iPhone news for a few days, so I’m stopping the “Your Subject Here” subject – if I’d known there’d be so many updates on that; I’d really have put in a non-joke phrase, so the Googlebots would have an easier time. Sorry about that.

A few interesting updates have com up in the meantime, however. For instance, a preliminary bill of materials estimate by iSupply details expected manufacturing costs of $245.83 and $280.83 for the 4GB and 8GB iPhones. I have a little experience in embedded design and the hardware numbers look reasonable to me; no idea how they arrived at the software costs. $7 for OS X is a weird figure, probably calculated by analogy with Windows CE OEM pricing, which would be totally inapplicable to an Apple product. Is the iPhone expected to pay for the total OS X development costs? In any event, these figures imply a gross margin of roughly 50%, very good even for an Apple product; average margin for their last quarter was 31.2%.

This report and some other articles have confused me even more about the “Cingular subsidies”. Are we really to believe, as one Cingular VP said, that Steve Jobs humbly agreed to all their usual business practices and “bent a lot” to get their contract? The iPhone judo theory is a little more convincing. Anyway, some people are saying that in June Cingular will subsidize perhaps $150 off the iPhone’s prices, making them retail for $350 or $450 net; others are saying that the subsidy is already built-in and the “unlocked” prices would be $800 to $1000. Or perhaps those prices are the real prices and Cingular will be neither subsidizing nor penalizing iPhone users, being content to charge just for their service and basking in the “halo effect” of being next to the Apple radiance…

Meanwhile UI guru Bruce Tognazzini has posted a long article about his impressions of the iPhone. Worth a read, but here are some nice quotes:

The origins of these bits and pieces, however, is not what’s important about the iPhone. What’s important is that, for the first time, so many great ideas and processes have been assembled in one device, iterated until they squeak, and made accessible to normal human beings. That’s the genius of Steve Jobs; that’s the genius of Apple…

…I have yet to get my hands on an iPhone?frustrating! (You can imagine Bill Gates’s frustration. He probably has a cadre of engineers ready to take it apart, put it back together with a couple of screws missing, and paint it brown.)…

…email echoes the voicemail interface. It is clean and simple. What is startling is the apparent hard separation of email, SMS, and voicemail. What I would want is a single list, defaulting to the newest and unread/unheard first. I don’t care about the medium, and neither should iPhone.

Of all the iPhone features, this is the one that seems to have completely missed the target. It would be like Blackberry having three lists: One for mail with more than 100 characters, one for mail with fewer than 100 characters, and one for mail sent from more than 3000 miles away.

That last suggestion is marvelous, at least as an option for less technical users; Apple should really try to do this.

Meanwhile, we’re back to business-as-usual, it seems. Apple posted absolute record numbers for the last quarter and the stock went down afterwards, it’s 10% off the peak of some days ago as I write this… with no justification except some vague complaints about Apple’s conservative guidance for the next quarters. Analysts just aren’t getting used to conservative guidance followed by better numbers, it seems. Some others complain about lesser growth in Mac sales, but given that Adobe’s software suite isn’t out yet, the posted figures look quite good to me.

John Gruber and several others are coming to agree with me about the general philosophy of OS X as a generic OS family for Apple devices. Good.

Finally, I’ve often commented on the excessive price of Apple products in Brazil, but for the first time this has been reported by international sites:

…the survey prices the 2GB nano in US dollars and found that Brazilians pay the most for an iPod, shelling out $327.71, well above second-place India at $222.27.

Canada was the cheapest place to buy a nano, at $144.20…