The Samsung Galaxy S4 is more expensive to produce than the Galaxy S3.
A recent “virtual teardown” performed by IHS has found that the HSPA+ version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 costs $236 to build. The tear down also found that the LTE version is not much cheaper at $233 per device build.
In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S III was $30.40 cheaper to produce, an increase of 15 percent model-by-model.
In the report, IHS senior analyst Vincent Leung writes:
“Although its hardware is not radically different from the Galaxy S III introduced in April of 2012, the Samsung Galaxy S4 includes some critical component updates that enhance its functionality as well as its BOM cost. Among the upgrades are a larger, full high-definition (HD) display; a beefed-up Samsung processor; and a wealth of new sensors that set a record high for the number of such devices in a smartphone design.”
A large portion of the more expensive Galaxy S4 has been spent on processing power. The HSPA+ version uses the Exyno 5 “octa-core” processor which is manufactured with a 28-nanometer process. The Samsung Galaxy S III relies on a quad-core Exynos processor. The S III processor topped out at $17.50 per CPU while the new processor for the S4 runs a higher $30.
Samsung has also improved the Galaxy S4 by adding a new humidity and temperature sensor and an infrared gesture sensor. IHS estimates that the new systems cost $16 compared to the S III, which ran up costs of just $12.70.
Samsung’s other big Galaxy S4 spend is related to its new AMOLED display, which outputs at 1920×1080 (HD output). The new display is $75 compared to $65 for the previous model.
While Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is a more expensive option to build, it also offers features that promise to better the company’s flagship device.
Do you think the new cost of building the S4 is enough to draw users into the smartphone and its software heavy improvements?