IHS iSuppli teardown test reveals that the Samsung Galaxy S 4 costs more to build than the iPhone 5

Leading market research firm IHS iSuppli has calculated the BOM (Bill of Materials) of Samsung’s recently launched flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S 4, with the help of a teardown test, and has come to some rather interesting conclusions with it.






The Galaxy S 4 teardown test has revealed that the 16 GB, AT&T HSPA + version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 carries a $236 bill of materials. This is quite a steep rise from the $205 BOM that its predecessor, the Galaxy S III, had last year. Moreover, it is quite a bit more expensive to build than even Apple’s ubiquitous iPhone 5, which has a bill of material of $207.


Although the popular narrative has been that the S 4 is a mere incremental upgrade over the S III, it has had some expensive hardware upgrades that hike up its building cost. The S 4 has a larger, and a fully high-definition (HD) display unlike the S 3. Its inhouse processor is a fair bit more expensive along with being much faster than before, and a massive number of new sensors add to the cost as well.


It is important to note that this teardown test doesn’t fully reflect all the costs that are involved in building any smartphone, let along the S 4, as costs related to R & D are hard to account for objectively. This is a merely indicative study that simply reflects the final cost of getting each unit of the aforementioned smartphones on the production line.

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