High-end smartphones are getting pricier, gimmickier, faster, sharper, more technologically complex and, naturally, costlier to build. Even profit margin champion Apple spent significantly more on putting together last year’s iPhone X than all of the family’s previous generations, which explains the jump to a $999 and up MSRP that many found prohibitive.
As always, Samsung seems to be settling for a considerably slimmer flagship margin than its arch-rival, investing an estimated $379 into the making of each Galaxy S9+ unit that’s then sold at a starting unlocked price of $840.
The iPhone X is only 10 bucks or so more expensive to produce, according to information available to TechInsights “at the time” of the face-scanning handset’s “initial teardown.” Meanwhile, it’s definitely worth highlighting that the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus carries a $10 higher bill of materials than the Note 8, which in turn continues to command a higher recommended retail price.
The global smartphone market-leading Korean company clearly spared no expense in the camera department, where the S9+ tops its predecessor by a whopping $16, as well as the iPhone X by $5, at a total cost of $48.
Unsurprisingly, the most expensive GS9+ component is its cutting-edge display, at $72.50, although the OLED beaut is described as a “carryover from the Galaxy S8+ with minor changes”, which actually makes it cheaper to manufacture these days.
Other interesting tidbits include a massive increase of the “volatile” memory, aka RAM, investment from the S8 Plus, and a huge difference in “non-electronics” parts expenses between the Galaxy S9+ and iPhone X attributed to “Apple’s approach to their housings, with a heavy emphasis on machining.”