One of the things we always wait for with a bit of glee are teardowns of the new and exciting gadgets that are coming to market. We like to see the shiny insides of gadgets as much as the next geek, without having to tear our own devices apart. The latest device to get the virtual teardown treatment from IHS iSuppli is the Samsung GALAXY S 4.
Note that I said in the last sentence, virtual teardown. iSuppli has used its Mobile Handset Cost Model Service without having a real S 4 to rip apart. I'll be taking these figures with a grain of salt. The company says that the bill of materials for the HSPA+ GALAXY S 4 smartphone is $236.
That is a significant increase from the bill of materials of the GALAXY S 3 from last year. iSuppli says that the reason the cost has gone up significantly has to do with major upgrades to the S 4 display, sensors, and APU. The company reports that the HSPA+ S 4 with 16 GB of storage costs $244 to build including the $8.50 manufacturing costs.
That price tag makes it $30.40 more expensive than the S 3. The teardown reveals that the new S 4 HD display and touch subsystem costs $75 on its own. The processor used in the smartphone is estimated at $30, while the S 3 had a processor estimated the cost $17.50. iSuppli estimates that the user interface and sensor subsystem on the GALAXY S 4 costs $16. Interestingly, the LTE version is cheaper to build than the HSPA+ version of the device. That LTE version of the smartphone has a bill of materials estimated to be $233.