Samsung Galaxy S9+ is the most expensive Galaxy smartphone phone to build even, says TechInsights. Samsung is said to have spent around $379 (around Rs 24,700) to build the Galaxy S9+, which is more than the cost incurred to build Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note 8 from last year. Interestingly, it is more expensive to build the Galaxy S9+ than iPhone 8 Plus but the overall bill of materials has been found to be lower than that for the iPhone X.
According to TechInsights, the overall cost of goods sold for the Galaxy S9+ comes in at $379.50, which is $10 (around Rs 650) lower than that of iPhone X, which is estimated to cost around $389.50 (around Rs 25,400). It is however $10 more than that of Galaxy Note 8’s cost of goods sold calculated at $369 (around Rs 24,000). The cost of goods sold for the Galaxy S8+ and iPhone 8 Plus are $343 (around Rs 22,400) and $324.50 (around Rs 21,200) respectively. The cost is calculated taking into account the price of various hardware components and supporting materials as well as final assembly and test charges.
The increase in cost is mainly owed to the updated processor, faster LTE speed and better wide-angle camera, which also includes dual aperture. The tear down reveals that the display is basically a carryover from last year’s Galaxy S8+ with minor changes. The rear glass and main frame are also said to be similar to ones from last year’s model. The Galaxy S9+ gets an LTE Category 19 device and the Shannon 965 transceiver, which is about twice the cost of the Category 16 Shannon 955 transceiver found on the Galaxy S8+.
Samsung, however, has managed to cut cost in the non-volatile memory department by using 3D V-Nand memory. On the volatile memory, Samsung has increased the memory from 4GB LPDDR4X to 6GB LPDDR4X, which results in increased cost. In comparison with iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9+ manages to cut cost by integrating the LTE modem directly with its applications processor, which is the Exynos 9810 in the case of global model. Apple, however, separates them with its own A11 Bionic processor and Qualcomm or Intel-designed LTE modem.
The camera components on the iPhone X are cheaper than that of Galaxy S9+, despite both being dual rear camera systems with dedicated optical zoom lens. The Galaxy S9+ is the first smartphone to feature a wide-angle image sensor capable to switching between two apertures. The Galaxy S9+ can mechanically switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4 aperture, while most other smartphones have their apertures fixed at f/1.7 or f/1.8.
The camera components for the Galaxy S9+ cost around $48 while that for the iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8 cost $43 and $40.50 respectively. The battery on the Galaxy S9+ is cheaper at $5.50 to that of L-shaped battery found on iPhone X, which costs $6.50. The breakdown of cost shows how smartphones are getting expensive to make and thus expensive at the time of retail as well. Samsung, however, seems to be keeping its margins lower than Apple, which takes home more than 50 percent of the profit.