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

Zach Epstein
May 9th, 2013 at 9:35 AM
Samsung Galaxy S4 Teardown

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 has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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