IHS iSuppli reports that the Galaxy S4’s Bill of Materials (BOM) is 15% more expensive than the Galaxy S3. The report specifically points out that the 16GB Galaxy S4 HSPA+ model costs an estimated $236 USD whereas its LTE-enabled counterpart costs an estimated $233.
The Galaxy S3 had a BOM of $204 dollars, and iSuppli reports that the BOM increase for the Galaxy S4 is most likely because of its 5-inch Full HD display that boasts of a 1920 x 1080 resolution and a whopping 441 ppi. This is estimated to cost $75, up from $65 on the 4.8-inch Galaxy S3. Of course, the Full HD display isn’t the only thing that is factoring into the increased cost.
The Galaxy S4’s 1.6GHz Exynos 5 Octa costs $30 whereas the Galaxy S3 had a processor that was $17.50. Interestingly, the 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU costs $20 bucks compared to the Octa processor’s $30.
According to IHS, “Samsung accounts for at least $149 worth of component content in the HSPA+ version of the Galaxy S4, representing 63 percent of the total BOM, based on the results of the virtual teardown.”
After seeing how much it costs to produce the Galaxy S4, it may be a bit frustrating to see such a low price compared to all the money you’re giving to the carrier or how much you pay when buying the device outright. It costs an arm and a leg, there’s no doubt about that, but the material cost isn’t the only thing that has to be factored into the price.
Samsung also has to factor in marketing costs, assembly, distribution and even after all of that, they still have to factor in licensing and support. Not to mention the development of the truckload of S apps that are loaded onto the Galaxy S4. Then, of course, you’re going to need to support those apps as well, which also costs more money.
While the Galaxy S4 did rise in cost in terms of materials compared to the Galaxy S3, material costs aren’t the only thing that should be looked at.