HomeNewsNew tech boosts cost of building Samsung Galaxy S5

    New tech boosts cost of building Samsung Galaxy S5


    The debut of 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO technology and a plethora of new sensors has lead the cost of building the Samsung Galaxy S5 to soar, according to teardown estimates from IHS.

    The research firm found the 32GB handset, which went on sale last week, had a bill of materials (BOM) of €181.76. This is more costly than Apple’s premium 32GB iPhone 5s, which IHS said had a BOM of €149.59. 

    Apple’s handset retails at around €36 more than the Samsung handset. Overall, the Galaxy range of handsets has a BOM ranging from €171.26 to €202.31.

    IHS said the inclusion of MIMO technology was one of the major departures from previous designs. It said Broadcom was the likeliest provider of the MIMO module and the underlying supporting silicon. 

    However, it said Samsung was able to reduce manufacturing costs in part by using a Qualcomm MSM8974AC processor with Snapdragon 801. The core applications processor and wireless semiconductor are combined, saving internal board space and costs. 

    According to IHS, in other designs, such as the Apple iPhones and other Samsung designs, these two roles may be filled by two separate chips.

    The S5 touts more sensors than in any other design IHS looked at, and includes an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a magnetometer, a barometric pressure sensor, a fingerprint sensor, a pulse sensor and an electronic compass. 

    [Read more: Paypal launches fingerprint payments for Galaxy S5]

    Other components in the smartphone include a Qualcomm WTR1625 – an NXP NFC controller that is different to the NXP PN5441, PN547 and PN65N devices found in other Samsung handsets. 

    It also includes a PMC8974 power management chip from Qualcomm, which IHS said was another first to feature in an electronic design. The researchers said the chip unites two formerly separate power management integrated chips.

    [Read more: Processing power “will continue to thrive” despite fears over smartphone innovation]

    Andrew Rassweiler, Senior Director, Cost Benchmarking Services for IHS, commented: “The high costs of the S5 is becoming more typical of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy line… the S5 exemplifies a conservative evolutionary design approach. There are no revolutions are giant steps forward in this design. There’s a lot of similarity and commonality between the S5 and other recent Samsung smartphones IHS has tore down, such as the Galaxy Round and the Note III. However, there are many small changes throughout the design.”