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IHS: ‘no breakthroughs,’ ‘nothing earth-shattering’ about Galaxy S5

Published Apr 15th, 2014 7:25AM EDT
Samsung Galaxy S5 Cost
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

Research firm IHS says the Galaxy S5 costs $256 to make, Re/code reports, a price that’s significantly higher than previous Samsung high-end handsets but which is becoming the norm for the company’s new flagships. While the $256 bill of materials for the handset does not account for the cost of software, distribution and marketing, Samsung is expected to enjoy a gross margin of about 60% on the Galaxy S5.

“Our main takeaway is that Samsung has been moved up to the higher end of the cost spectrum, IHS analyst Andrew Rassweiler said. “It used to be that its typical flagship phone sold for $600 without a contract and had a bill of materials of about $200. Now they’re inching up above $250 regularly.”

However, when it comes to internal components, IHS says that’s basically nothing special about the phone, compared to previous Samsung devices. Not even the phone’s completely new features, including the heart rate monitor and fingerprint sensor, aren’t apparently enough for the IHS. However, the company did highlight its capability of surviving water damage.

“Inside we see mostly a lot of recycled components that we’ve seen before. There’s really nothing special inside where Samsung is pushing the envelope,” Rassweiler added. “There’s no breakthroughs, there’s nothing earth-shattering. It’s really just a continuation of what has come before.”

The company identified the Galaxy S5’s display to be the most expensive component at $63, and said that its fingerprint sensor costs about $4 – comparatively the iPhone 5s’s fingerprint sensor costs $15, while Apple’s iPhone has a $199 bill of materials according to the same company. The heart rate sensor of the phone costs $1.45 according to IHS, with Maxium being the company behind it.

So far, the Galaxy S5 has been selling better than its predecessor,and BGR has already analyzed the best and the worst things about the handset.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.