Samsung’s 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.
A Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone with 64GB of storage has a bill-of-materials at $284.85, with the cost rising to $290.45 when the $5.60 manufacturing cost is added. The retail price for the device at Verizon is $799.99.
The comparable iPhone 6 Plus 64GB has a bill-of-materials of $236.04, which increases to $240.05 after the $4.01 manufacturing cost is added. The retail price from Apple’s online store is $849.00, some $50 higher than Galaxy S6 Edge.
Andrew Rassweiler, senior director of research and analysis for IHS, said: “Overall, this is the priciest Samsung Galaxy S series bill of materials 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.”
Of course, many of the key components of the Galaxy S6 Edge – including its screen, which is the single priciest element – are sourced from Samsung’s own components business, rather than the cash going to an external supplier. Other big-ticket items manufactured by Samsung include the apps processor, RAM and storage memory.
The company has also learned from Apple in the way that it charges for devices with larger storage capabilities.
“It only costs Samsung around $13 for 32GB in memory and less than $26 for an additional 64GB in memory. 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,” Rassweiler said.
IHS also noted that while some versions of the Galaxy S6 have not only displaced Qualcomm for application processors, but for modems as well, the Verizon version it stripped-down used Qualcomm modem technology.
“There are other versions of the S6 sold by different carriers in different markets that do not use the Qualcomm chipset. We have procured another model so we can compare the models and look at the cost differences,” Rassweiler said.