Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Costs More to Make than the Galaxy S3; Costing $236 Per Unit

March 19, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

iSuppli has torn down the Galaxy S4 which is typical with a new phone or tablet. It shows that the Galaxy S4 is about 15% more expensive to create than the Galaxy S3 was. Here’s how it all breaks down.


The HSPA+ (a.k.a Exynos 5) version costs about $236 to make, while the LTE version costs $233 to make. Last year’s HSPA+ model cost $205 to create. The Galaxy S4 also has a $8.50 manufacturing cost which increased from $8.00 for the Galaxy S3. Now as you’ll see in the image above, the display costs the most, which isn’t anything surprising. But the differences between the LTE and HSPA+ models in price are the processor (Exynos costs more than Snapdragon 600), wireless section, WLAN/BT/FM/GPS, and power management. So basically everything that is relative to the processor and LTE are the differences. The cool thing is that 16GB of storage and 1GB of RAM for the S3 was a dollar more than 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM in the S4. Not surprising since RAM does go down, but this is also a difference between DDR2 and DDR3 RAM. Samsung also added some new sensors in the Galaxy S4, which also where the price hike came from.

So the Galaxy S4 isn’t really all that expensive of a device, but it’s still going to sell for around $550-650 at full retail. Which means that Samsung is making over $300 on each one sold. Just imagine how many people would buy the device if Samsung sold it like a Nexus? Even selling the 16GB at $299, they’d make about $50 on each one. But that’s the cost of plastic.

How many of you are going to grab the Galaxy S4 despite it being made of plastic and looking almost identical to the Galaxy S3 from last year? Would you be more likely to buy it if it were priced at $299 for no contract and unlocked? Let us know in the comments below.