Samsung's latest flagship Galaxy smartphone costs roughly $30 (€23.24) more to make than its predecessor, according to a teardown by IHS iSuppli.
The research firm estimates that the HSPA+ version of the Galaxy S4 costs around $244 in parts and manufacturing costs. This is 15% or $30.40 higher than the estimated cost of the Galaxy SIII.
“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,” IHS senior analyst for cost benchmarking Vincent Leung said.
These include a full-HD AMOLED screen, compared to the 1,280x720 resolution of the SIII. The extra $10 cost of the display and touch screen is the single largest contributor to the increased price, he said.
The cost per unit of the eight-core processor has also increased significantly, as has the user interface and sensor subsystem.
Curiously, IHS also estimates that the LTE version of the device costs less to make than the HSPA+ version, at $233.
This is due to Samsung's decision to use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chip, which uses a a lower-cost wireless LAN/Bluetooth/FM/GPS subsystem.