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Teardown: Galaxy S6 Edge exceeds build cost of iPhone 6 Plus

Posted: 16 Apr 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS? iPhone 6 Plus? Galaxy S6 Edge? smartphone? teardown?

Samsung's latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S6 Edge, is the most expensive Galaxy S line smartphone yet built, but has a lower retail price than a comparable iPhone 6 Plus, according to a preliminary estimate by IHS.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone with 64GB of NAND memory carries a bill of materials (BOM) of $284.85 with the cost rising to $290.45 when the $5.60 manufacturing cost is added, according to results from the IHS teardown of a phone purchased from Verizon. The retail price at Verizon for the Galaxy S6 Edge is $799.99.

A comparable Apple iPhone 6 Plus 64GB has a BOM of $236.04, which rises to $240.05 after $4.01 manufacturing cost is added, and a retail price from the Apple online store of $849.00, $50 higher than the S6 Edge.

Galaxy S6 Edge

"Overall, this is the priciest Samsung Galaxy S series BOM to date. In fact, Samsung seems to have consistently packed more features and cost into their flagship Galaxy S line of phones over the last three generations of product, now producing a BOM cost that is notably higher than comparable iPhones," said Andrew Rassweiler, senior director of research and analysis for IHS.

Galaxy S6 Edge vs. iPhone 6 Plus teardown

(Source: IHS Technology iPhone 6 Plus analysis December 2014. S6 analysis April 2015)

Cost/Pricing approach similar to Apple

The Edge model retails for $100 more than the regular version of the S6. Additionally, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge both are priced $100 more at retail for each increment of memory from 32GB to 64GB and from 64GB to 128GB. "It only costs Samsung around $13 for 32GB in memory and less than $26 for an additional 64GB in memory," Rassweiler said. "So Samsung generates an additional $87 or so in profit on the 64GB model when compared to the 32GB model. Apple has also been structuring their iPhone offering like this for years. It boosts margins."

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge SM-G925V top cost drivers

Pricey display

Samsung has been using the Galaxy line to showcase its Super AMOLED technology in previous Galaxy S series generations, and the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are no exceptions to this rule. The displays on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge offer higher resolution (2560x1440 pixels, known as Quad HD) than the iPhone 6 Plus that features 1920x1080 (1080p) resolution. The IHS teardown also showed that the unique Edge curved display screen costs $85, about $24 more than the display for the regular version of the S6. Furthermore, when compared with the iPhone 6 Plus, the display on the Galaxy S6 Edge is more than double the cost of the TFT/IPS display and touchscreen on the iPhone 6 Plus, which IHS estimated at $41 in November 2014.

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