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‘Cheap’ isn’t always cheap – Galaxy S4 costs more to build than iPhone 5

Updated May 9th, 2013 11:30AM EDT
Samsung Galaxy S4 Teardown

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Samsung is constantly knocked for launching smartphones and tablets that feel cheap and flimsy compared to rival devices, but just because something feels cheap doesn’t mean it is cheap. A teardown analysis of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 performed by market research firm IHS iSuppli found that the 32GB version of the new flagship phone has a bill of materials (BOM) of approximately $237 per unit, AllThingsD reported. That figure comes in almost 10% above the $217 BOM that IHS iSuppli previously reported for Apple’s 32GB iPhone 5. Of course, much of the Galaxy S4’s component cost is funneled back to other Samsung companies, giving the company a nice advantage over rivals. “Samsung’s strength is this ability to in-source to itself,” IHS analyst Vincent Leung said. “They just keep adding to the list of components that they can supply to themselves.”

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.