South Korean version of Galaxy S 4 more powerful, costs more to build

Galaxy S 4
Samsung’s Galaxy S 4

The U.S. and South Korean versions of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 may look the same, but inside they have different parts, and the cost to build them is different too, according to a report.

IHS, an analytics company, released its price breakdown on the device Thursday. When new popular tech gadgets are released, IHS typically estimates the cost of each part’s price.  The company also estimates how much it costs a company to manufacture a particular device.

For the Galaxy S 4, IHS released two different estimates because Samsung uses different components for the device depending on the region in which it’s selling the smartphone.

For the U.S. version, IHS estimated that it costs Samsung $237 to build one of the phones, including the manufacturing cost. The South Korean version, however, costs an estimated $252 to build.


What’s the difference? IHS cited differences in various parts, the biggest being the processor.

VIDEO: Samsung Galaxy S 4 review

According to IHS, the U.S. version that is sold by AT&T uses a Qualcomm SnapDragon 600 quad-core processor. The South Korean version uses an Octacore Exynos 5 processor. That processor is built by Samsung itself and uses twice as many cores as the U.S. processor. As a result, it is more powerful and more expensive.

Samsung’s approach to building different versions of its phone, each suited to different markets, demonstrates how company’s approach differs from Apple, which builds one device for every market, IHS said in its report.


“With at least four different known incarnations of the Galaxy S 4, Samsung is demonstrating its strategy of offering a mobile product that has appealing features and pricing -- and then adapting the device to suit the tastes of varying markets or regions,”  Vincent Leung, senior analyst of teardown services for IHS, said in the report.


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