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Report: Galaxy S4 more expensive to produce than S III

updated 07:17 pm EDT, Tue March 19, 2013

IHS 'virtual teardown' finds over 60 percent of parts made by Samsung

According to a preliminary "virtual teardown" by IHS, the HSPA+ version of the new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone holds $236 in parts, and the LTE version contains $233 in silicon, mostly produced in-house by Samsung. The bill of materials in the new device exceeds the equivalent version of the Galaxy S III smartphone by $30.40, a 15 percent increase.

"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 Bill of Materials (BOM) cost," said Vincent Leung, senior analyst for cost benchmarking at IHS. "Among the upgrades are a larger, full high-definition (HD) display; a beefed-up Samsung processor; and a wealth of new sensors that set a record high for the number of such devices in a smartphone design."

As previously reported, the Galaxy S4 HSPA+ version uses the Exynos 5 "octa-core" processor, manufactured by Samsung with a 28-nanometer process. The quad-core Exynos in the Galaxy S III international version prices out at $17.50, while the new processor costs $30.

The Galaxy S4 has a new humidity and temperature sensor, in addition to the infrared gesture sensor. IHS believes that the sensor system carries a cost of $16, up from $12.70 in the S III.

The new screen on the S4 is an AMOLED display produced by Samsung, running at 1920x1080. The new screen and touch screen costs $75, up from $65 from the S III. The screen represents the largest single cost increase for the S4 over the S III.

by MacNN Staff



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