Samsung‘s new flagship, revealed at the end of February, has one of the highest retail prices a consumer Samsung smartphone has ever had, ranging from $999.99 for the 128GB ROM model up to $1,599.99 for the 1TB version in the U.S.
Are these prices justified in the build materials, though?
TechInsights investigated Samsung’s homegrown S10 Plus model with an Exynos chipset, rather than the Snapdragon model headed to the U.S., with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage (the base model). The outlet’s estimates suggest its materials costs rack up to $420, around 42 percent of its $1,000 retail price.
The major expenditure is on Samsung’s beautiful Dynamic AMOLED display at $86.50, though this is only $9 up on previous displays despite the punch hole. The chipset and modems, meanwhile, come in at $70.50 per unit, while Samsung is said to be spending around $50 or so on the S10 Plus’ cameras and memory.
You can see the full component breakdown below.
Is the Galaxy S10 Plus a rip-off?
The prices above are only estimates and many other costs affect how much Samsung sells devices for (such as marketing, research, and shipping costs). So, this isn’t pure profit for Samsung. Further, profit margins can be so extremely tight in the smartphone industry that some companies earn virtually nothing on hardware — they just to try and make money from after-sale channels. In other words, it might be unfair to look at these figures and accuse Samsung of ripping us off.
With that being said, the S10 Plus starts at around $160 more than the S9 Plus did for consumers ($840), with only around a $45 increase in materials costs. That’s where you could feel the sting of Samsung’s price strategy, though it should be noted that the S10 Plus has a better display, cameras, processing, and more storage than the base model of its predecessor. It’s better all-round, really.
Samsung is also charging less for the S10 Plus than Apple does for its iPhone XS Max, despite comparative component costs. TechInsights suggests the XS Max with 256GB storage materials cost $443, but Apple charges $1,249 for that device in the U.S.
Overall, it seems pretty much par for the course in terms of Samsung’s retail price versus manufacturing costs, but you can give me your thoughts on that in the comments. For more insights, head to the TechInsights website here.