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Samsung’s new Galaxy S9+ has BOM cost of $376

11 Apr 2018 IHS Markit Technology Expert

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ carries a bill of materials (BOM) cost of $375.80, a new IHS Markit teardown shows. But although $43 more than the BOM for the company's previous "star" smartphone, the Galaxy S8+, the higher cost structure of the S9+ offers consumers better specs at about the same retail price point as the S8+.

"The higher total BOM cost for the Galaxy S9+ is driven primarily by rising prices for DRAM and NAND flash memory, as well as the smartphone's more impressive dual-lens mechanical aperture camera module," said Andrew Rassweiler, senior director of cost benchmarking services for IHS Markit. The S9+ also has a brighter screen, Rassweiler added, than last year's radically redesigned S8 with its large Infinity Display.

The unsubsidized retail price for a 64GB Galaxy S9+ starts at $839.99. The S9+ features a 6.2-inch display, 64 gigabytes (GB) of storage, and 6GB of RAM. In comparison, the smaller S9 has a 5.8-inch display, and less RAM at 4GB, even though storage is the same at 64 GB. IHS Markit has not yet performed a teardown analysis on the smaller Galaxy S9.

Extraordinary camera module

The most noticeable new feature of the S9+ is its 12-megapixel dual-lens camera, which includes the first variable-aperture system built into a smartphone. This dual-mechanical aperture supports F1.5 and F2.4, image over-sampling and 960 frame-per-second slow motion, which provides better results in low-light conditions and supports hardware-based shallow depth-of-field effects.

The combined BOM cost for the primary, secondary, iris camera, and other modules is $44.95, of which $34.95 is from the new primary camera.

"The extraordinary primary camera module in the Galaxy S9+ costs much more to manufacture than most camera modules we have priced in the past," Rassweiler said. "Camera technology improvements continue to be a primary budget focus and performance differentiator for smartphone manufacturers."

Among the first smartphones to feature Snapdragon 845

Upgrading from last year's CAT16 Snapdragon 835 processor, the Galaxy S9+ features Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845, which contains an LTE CAT18 modem. The device accommodates peak LTE speeds of up to 1.2 gigabits per second with support for six-carrier aggregation and 4x4 MIMO. The Snapdragon 845 features second-generation 10-nanometer lithography from Samsung foundries.

The complete, bundled Qualcomm chipset solution, including all supporting components from Qualcomm, is estimated to cost $67.00.

Improved security

Samsung relies on a smart face-lock in the Samsung Galaxy S9+, which requires both an iris scan and a two-dimensional face image to unlock the device. This new "Intelligent Scan" mode means that either one or the other process will be used to unlock the device, depending on lighting conditions or the action being performed.

The rear fingerprint sensor has also been rearranged in a more symmetrical and ergonomic position than in the previous Galaxy S8+ model.

Brighter AMOLED display, upgraded wireless charging

Samsung displays are always a showcase for the company's internally sourced components, and the Galaxy S9+ display is no different.

Its 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED features 2960 x 1440 resolution and 529 ppi, while providing 700-nit brightness, which is slightly higher than last year's Galaxy S8+. The entire display comes with a BOM cost of $79, also the most expensive component in the device.

Wireless charging has been upgraded from 7 watts in last year's model to 15 watts in the Galaxy S9+.

The Teardowns and Cost Benchmarking Intelligence Service from IHS Markit provides complete, detailed analysis of electronics-from small devices, such as wireless handsets and tablets; to larger equipment such as servers and automotive infotainment systems-delivering a comprehensive assessment and cost breakdown of all electronic, electro-mechanical, and mechanical components.

IHS Markit analysts have performed more than 3,000 teardowns, identifying and pricing millions of components, as well as producing more than 120,000 teardown photos over time.

IHS Markit Technology Expert
Posted 11 April 2018

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