updated 07:49 pm EDT, Wed May 8, 2013
Most of the components inside the phone are Samsung-produced
A teardown of the 32GB US Samsung Galaxy S4 by research firm IHS iSuppli shows the device costs the Korean manufacturer just above $237 to build per unit. Many of the components are sourced within Samsung itself and is not far below the Bill of Materials (BOM) cost of the Galaxy Note tablet, which runs the company $270 per unit.
"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." The international version of the phone contains the Samsung-made Exynos 5 Octa that costs $28 per chip. The US versions' Qualcomm-provided Snapdragon processor is estimated at $20.
At least four versions of the phone are being made, with two in the US. The two US versions hold a Fujitsu image processor suite that added $1.50 to the cost of the phone. In the Korean version, the image processing is handled by the Exynos.
The display and touchscreen are Samsung-provided, and run $75. The additional 16GB of memory in the 32GB version drive the manufacture price up $28. BOM estimates such as those by iSuppli only consider the raw cost of materials, and do not include other costs such as assembly, shipping, packaging and related expenses such as advertising.
The 32GB Galaxy S4's unsubsidized US price isn't yet known, but the 16GB model sells for between $650 and $700 in Canada, whose currency is on par with the US. Providers outside of the Samsung supply chain include Corning for the Gorilla Glass display cover, Broadcom with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, a Maxim power management chip, and Triquint Semiconductor with some other wireless chips.
The IHS full report on the teardown is expected on May 9.