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Cheaper than the iPhone 6 Plus on retail, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge costs more to build

We wouldn’t worry about the Korean mobile titan’s financial prosperity, but their profit margins remain considerably slimmer than Apple’s.

Galaxy S6 Edge

You probably remember how distressed Android enthusiasts got when it became clear Samsung would discard cheap plastic at last and go the premium metal route for its 2015 flagship. It was all good news, obviously, yet a superior build likely meant higher production costs, driving prospective retail prices through the roof.

Ultimately, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge went on sale for much lower tags than expected, which prompted corner-cutting concerns. As it turns out, Samsung made no compromise (aside from renouncing waterproof features), and simply reduced its bottom line to crank up shipment numbers.

According to a report exclusively shared by research firm IHS with tech online publication Recode, a standard 64 GB Verizon Galaxy S6 Edge commands roughly $290 in component and assembly costs.

We’re talking a phone sold by America’s largest wireless service provider for $800 outright here, so profits are still quite hefty. Then again, a top-of-the-line 128 GB iPhone 6 Plus requires $263 production expenses and retails for over $1,000.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S5 yielded a $256 bill of materials back in the day, and a non-Plus iPhone 6 starts at $200 before shipping to end users in exchange for $695 and up.

Galaxy S6 Edge teardown

It almost goes without saying the priciest (and trickiest) part of building a Galaxy S6 Edge is rolling out the dual-curved display and touchscreen elements. Combined, they cost an estimated $85, up from the $63 check of GS5’s conventional one-sided panel.

Then there’s the punchy, frugal and, unsurprisingly, extravagant $29.50 Exynos 7 processor based on 14 nm architecture. DDR4 memory doesn’t come cheap either, especially as it’s a first for the smartphone industry.

3 gigs of the good stuff reportedly set Sammy back a cool $27, which is only 2 bucks north of the 64 GB flash storage’s value. The final lavish piece of the puzzle is a $15 Qualcomm baseband chip allowing the S6 Edge to achieve 4G LTE speeds on VZW. Then, we’re guessing cameras, the fingerprint sensor, heart rate monitor and all add a little something, something to the BOM, not to forget R&D work or marketing budgets.

At the end of the day, it ain’t easy or cheap to manufacture such an outstanding slab of silicon from scratch.

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