This graph shows how much the components of every Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy flagship cost

This graph shows how much the components of every Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy flagship cost
It's no news that Apple and Samsung have been battling over the top spot of the smartphone market for quite some time now. Each and every year, an iPhone and a Galaxy S enter the boxing ring and wage war for potential consumers. It's no news that these smartphones are not among the cheaper ones money can usually get you, as their flagship status is backed up by flagship pricing.

Then again, have you ever wondered how much does each of the components inside the representatives of these series cost? Well, a recent interactive report, released by IEEE Spectrum, claims to reveal the value of the more fundamental hardware components of almost all Apple iPhone and Galaxy S forerunners that we've been treated to during the past few years.

The report seemingly reveals that the iPhone 6 is Apple's costliest device ever, as the components for each and every iPhone 6 set Cupertino back some $228.07, whereas the components of the iPhone 5s cost "merely" $211.50. In the meantime, over at Sammy's camp, the components of the Galaxy S5 cost $215.44, just a tad more than the Galaxy S4's $214.54 bill of materials.

You can check the interactive graph below.

source: Spectrum

Related phones

iPhone 6
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1810 mAh(14h 3G talk time)
Galaxy S5
  • Display 5.1" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh(21h 3G talk time)



1. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Bear in mind that Samsung produces a lot of its internal components in-house while iPhone doesn't which is a point to consider as to why iPhone is costly to produce. Samsung also spends huge amount in R&D which is obviously not mentioned here.

23. ahomad

Posts: 175; Member since: May 15, 2012

well all manufacturers spent on R&D in addition to software development. Samsung spend more on R&D but get free software from Google (they spend some on developing that), while apple spend less on R&D but spend more on software development. However, this article is about phone components costs ONLY.

29. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

That's so not true. Apple doesnt have R&D anywhere near Samsung does. Apple just designs the physical presence of the phone but gets nearly all of its supplies from others who had done the R&D on those parts. Samsung is one of the very few who spends billions on R&D and manufactures its own components. While that makes the "bill for parts" look a little cheaper, its just part of the story. Hell, half of every iphone is a samsung inside. lol.

2. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

$230 materials yet they charge $650 (or $1000+ depending on country) Sure there's other costs such R&D and labor, but they are overcharging IMO

3. abhilashpro

Posts: 18; Member since: Jun 25, 2012

They are charging so much because there are people who can pay so much. Making as much profit as possible, paying high salaries to their employees, and making the shareholders happy. This is business.

20. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yea, I guess I can't really blame them since millions of people are buying them On another note I don't think their factory employees are getting paid high salaries, but with the iPhone that's foxconn's problem I guess

7. kristoferallen

Posts: 99; Member since: Jun 23, 2010

That's what the market values it at right now. Phones used to be a contract deal. It used to be crazy to even purchase a phone for the entire price. It's weird how prepaid plans are much cheaper than contract plans now. The market is just weird. But on top of that, we get technology advances like crazy. They certainly get enough to keep pushing the boundaries every year. That's what we pay for the most, IMO.

9. AlikMalix unregistered

Vincelongman, I don't understand posts like yours. I'm not trying to offend you, but did you ever take an economics class? They sell for the price that people Are willing to pay - Same goes for Samsung HTC wp etc. If certain phones cost less it's only because that's what the manufacturer believes they can make most money on - some manufacturers make money on value, others on volume. With nexus line Google actually looses money but makes it up with ads exposure that their own phones generate. Another thing to consider is that android manufacturers like Samsung does not really need to invest into developing their own OS but use a free licenced android and just skin it - Apple chooses to build their own OS and maintain it by dedicating half or more of their own resources for that and influencing the ecosystem which lots of people like since they're willing to pay more for it. If the price for iPhones was too high (based on your assessment). I don't think Apple waoild sell so much and even continue growing in the mobile business.

11. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

if apple make their own os and eco system then apple also earn billions through this eco system, apps and services.. Do you think apple spend billions in OS development? A BIG HELL NO... whereas, if samsung use free OS then they dont make a money out of it as well, google make money instead of samsung and samsung spend huge amount and resources on developing custom skin and tons of features... Plz dont give flawed excuses for apple being overly priced.... I dont think apple spend 228$ on a unit of iphone, its beyond trustable... It wont be more than 150$

16. AlikMalix unregistered

So it costs more for Samsung to skin android than Apple to develop and maintain an iOS ecosystem? Really? Wow that explains why Samsung dubbed as "iPhone killer" is now trying to figure out how to keep their company above water. Oh let me ad to the fact that Apple is the only one that has a CUSTOM design Armv8 processor vs. everyone else that uses off-the-shelf extends or snapdragon processors - yeah iphone costs nothing to make. Bottom line Apple has OS costs while Samsung does not - any experienced developer can crest an android launcher these days.

26. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

Touchwiz is not a launcher. It has many features that stock Android and iOS don't have but should.

31. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

brother try to understand, apple is making billions from its os... if os cost them 1 billion to make then they are earning 50 billion from it(itunes & other paid services, full eco system). So your point is invalid in terms of os cost bcoz that cost is recovered with huge profit.... whereas samsung is not making a profit out of android, instead they are just spending money to fork out their version of tw with extra features(regardless of useful or useless). For example, may be samsung just spend 50 million for tw which is far behind than 1 billion but this 50 million is not going to earn them much profit. Moreover, custom design Soc and of the shelf design are not much different, both are nearly same in terms of cost. they go for custom design as per the need to make their software run smooth or whatever. making custom design doesnt mean it will cost them 100 times extra. Hey, do keep in mind that apple used to use two generation old hardware with custom cpu which is even cheaper than chinese oems. So the final conclusion is, apple is overly priced cheap product with proper salting n spices to fool the customers like you to consider it as a premium product and they are hugely successful so far. By the way samsung is also overly priced, specially in low end and mid range catagory. I hope you understand now and will not argue blindly

34. P-YWS

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

AlikMalix, I am wondering what your profession is. You kept making statement which may not be true. Many semiconductor companies obtained the architecture license from ARM. These include: TI, Nvidia, Intel (through the acquisition of DEC), Qualcom, Apple, Broadcom. I cannot remember if Samsung has such license or not but a search of the pass press release should verify this.

37. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

What both of you don't seem to understand is simple. If you want iOS you have one choice and you have to buy what is offer to you. If Samsung was the only OEM with Android, they would sell 400M+ phones every year. Samsung offers more on their phones to set themselves apart from other OEM's. If they were the only OEM they wouldn't have to do that. Samsung isn't trying to figure out how to stay above water. Samsung has far more competition that Apple simply doesn't have. If Samsung had iOS and has all the features we have now, Apple wouldn't sell half the phones they do now. Samsung makes less money on a sell because n the end it costs them more. Samsung has to pay for R&D, production and distribution. They have way more employees to pay vs Apple. When you sub-contract work and manufacturing, it is way less overhead than doing it yourself. If Samsung hire Foxconn to build all their phones, they wouldn't even be able t keep up.

38. AlikMalix unregistered

Very well though out post, techieXP1969: But did you know that Apple also has competition - it's called Android and people have been seen switching over (and back, ofcourse). Apple also has to pay for R&D, production and distribution, and free assistance (even if they never bought an Apple product)... Yes I understand the competition among Android only products, but for some odd reason people buy iPhones and lots of it... and they enjoy their experience - customer satisfaction ratings are best with Apple, why? Well, in my opinion they hit that balance perfectly, introduced right features at the right time (many earlier than android, many after). For that I trust Apple - their hardware is top notch, it's ahead of the curve, and yes the last iPhone (6/6+) and iOS8 were a bit problematic and COOK is not Steve unfortunately, but the problems were fixed within weeks, unlike the workarounds you see presented for Android phones all over the internet (YES Android phones all have problems, maybe not yours, but I'm not blind)... Also, I like your point about Samsung not selling as much due to it's own plethora of smartphone models and other android manufacturers competing with every single model, Apple does not. But that fact also saves all the Android phones from things like bendgate, and other little querks exposure as there's ONE model among millions as opposed to 10,000 models among same group of people - bigger numbers of same issue are reported - I bet if one, just one phone sold as much as any one model of iPhone you'll see much more articles shoing problems such as bendgate, camera, OS, TW, some feature, fingerprint sensors, cloud, radio bands, etc... That's one thing that saves Android phones, is that there arent that many - so they kinda fly under the radar when it comes to defects and issues... Plus there isnt one place for tech sites to go and find complaint with Nexus for example - you want to write bad news on Apple go to forums - easy!!!

42. P-YWS

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

AlikMalix, I cannot resist to write to correct your incorrect statement or opinion - "their hardware is top notch, it's ahead of the curve". Once again, Apple's hardware is definitely not the top notch because: 1) the pixel count in its camera is so bad: 8Mpixels vs. 13 - 22Mpixels from the others 2) the resolution is so pitiful: barely FHD for iPhone6+ but far below FHD for iPhone6. The others offer FHD to QHD. 4) No microSD support, no dual-SIM support, no water-proof support 5) No optical image stabilizer in iPhone6, a high-end phone Please don't bring up the 64-bit processor in iPhone. After all, they run so slow ..... Besides, there are only two cores! However, Apple's engineers probably manage to match the very slow processor speed with the functions of the iOS platform. In fact, have you ever seen a conclusion made by other engineering experts: Apple tends not to be the first one to implement the most advanced hardware features, instead Apple tends to strike a balance to minimize their product risk and to maximize their profit. Lastly, please be aware that Apple is not in the list of 20 companies, across the globe, who spent the most money & resources in R&D. Instead, companies like Samsung and Microsoft are in the top 5. See the link below: So, please realize the fact that you, like many other iPhone users, are deceived to believe in something which are not true. Once again, keep your mind open, and don't be one-sided. Try everything as much as you can. In this world, there is no best, only better at certain times. Right now, iPhone6/6+ is not better than others. I would say, about equal, but iPhone is in danger of losing to others in perhaps a year time.

17. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

Yes iRepair said that iP6 (or iC6) making cost is around $150-170

19. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Not offended :) Just saying they all overcharging IMO Though I guess I can't really blame them since millions of people are buying them

22. AlikMalix unregistered

Overcharging doesn't mean expensive. If the price you set does not sell - that's overcharging, example would be Amazon Fire phone: they introduced it at $200 on contract and no one bought it - so few weeks later the dropped to 99 cents with 2 year contract and it still cannot gain interest. If Apple sold iPhones for $10,000 each and it still sold tens of millions a month it is still not overpriced - this only means that it's valued high since consumers find value in it for that price. Now if Apple sold iPhones for $30 each without contract and it sold a few hundred instead of millions --- that's overcharging. I wouldn't buy a NOTE 4 for $600, but that's not because they're overcharging, it's because I don't find that much value in it (I like the pen, but I don't like the rest of it, bloat, Android OS, no physical store for assistance, touch wiz... I have my reasons) but others do find value in it and will probably pay $1000 for it - bottom line for that price it sells and for the price Apple charges their iPhones they sell - all this mans is that it's not overcharging or overpriced. Trust me, I wish iPhones and all Apple producs cost much less, but I also wish that new BMWs cost less too so I can buy the new M5.

28. abhilashpro

Posts: 18; Member since: Jun 25, 2012

I agree. Now that I'm studying economics and how companies work, I really don't blame Apple or Samsung or HTC for the high price they charge for their flagships. As much as I'd like these prices to be lower, I would do the same thing if I was running these companies: charge as high as customers are willing to pay in order to maximize profits. Everything else (people's rants and wishes) are secondary. In fact, this is precisely why Xiaomis and Micromaxes exist, and Samsung has low-end models also — to meet the needs of those who can't pay higher.

32. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

hey are you an apple? or their financial advisor? if not then please speak from consumer's point of view instead of bringing business economics in it. From a common consumer's point of view, apple is overly priced two generations old cheap hardware. I give a damn to what they can earn or how much profit they can make, they are not giving it free to start justifying them in everything

33. P-YWS

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

You have re-defined "over-charging"!

39. AlikMalix unregistered

no, apple haters are calling something they dont find value in "overcharing" while that's a two-way road, they seem to be too dunce to understand that... for example, I find Note4's S-pen the best thing on ALL OF ANDROID... but the rest of the phone - meh, including Android that's being butchered by TW... I would not pay so much for just a great stylus (even if it's better than the pens I have for my iPhone/iPad)... but I dont call Samsung for overcharging their NOTE series, I just dont find value in it like others do... YES we all want our favorite gadgets to cost $10, but as long as people are paying for asking price that's not gonna happen. Some people find value in new TOYOTA corolla, others prefer to pay same dollar for a USED BMW instead - people have different perception of value... So no I did not re-defined over-charging since millions upon millions are willing to pay that (and even more than it costs) - based on sales numbers - it's priced perfectly... Now Samsung for example isnt happy the way their phones are selling - that means they're "OVER-CHARGING"... The only thing I have to add, is that every iPhone I and my friends bought put more money in my pocket than we spent... in U.S. we get smart phones for about $200 and after two years, iPhones throughout history sold for $300 - $500 for a used two year model. Not so much with Android (well maybe these new Android flagships may sell as good in 2 years but on average not so much) Samsung Note costs $350 on contract - so does iPhone 6+, Samsung GS5 costs $200 on contract - so does iPhone 6... but after two years you get so much more back --- there's that value thing I was talking about earlier - and it's much easier to sell an iPhone than any other phone outthere - so selling iPhone for top dollar is much more easier.

40. P-YWS

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

Your description of the re-sale value of Apple's smartphone is correct. However, the main reason why the re-sale value is high is simple: too many people going for it because of the perceived values (ease of use, robustness, retina display (sub-par in reality), a higher social status (applicable mostly to the people in Asia)). There are many areas where iPhone is not easy to use (e.g. no hard back/reverse), not exactly robust (my new iPhone5s with iOS 8 failed to fire up some applications more than once). Worst still, I found the screen of the iPhone5s so small and the text far from crisp. For your reference, I was using Android for the past two years, and Blackberry & WinCE before Android. I shall try Windows Phone next. Having used mostly the iPhone5s for the past 2 months, almost exclusively, I am afraid that the iPhone/iOS combination is no better than the Android. You used the example of BMW. But, it was a wrong analogy. BMW car offers above-average dynamics and platform balance than most cars, e.g. Corolla. Therefore, BMW 3-series does not over-charge when compared to Corolla (same class). Besides, BMW offer more options than Corolla (e.g. embedded sun-shade on the rear passenger doors). In contrast, Apple refuses to offer us the ability to expand storage capacity and to swap out media files in a fool-proof way (i.e. plug & unplug uSD card) out of pure greed and no valid reason. By the way, if you intend to say iPhone is similar to BMW 3-series while Android is similar to Corolla, it is dead wrong. It is because the difference between Corolla and BMW 3-series is far larger than the differences between iPhone6+ and Note4. At the very least, Note 4 is superior than iPhone 6+ in many obvious ways. I am afraid that millions upon millions willing patrons does not equate to "not over-charging". It is because these patrons are blind-sighted by the fame (in particular those in Asia), above-average resale value(in Asia and in US), the perceived ease-of-use (all mobile OSs are technically similar hence all easy to use especially for those with reasonable IQs). To save from argument, the absolute definition of over-charging should be used to judge the value-for-money-ness or the cost-to-price ratio of a product: the selling price of a product should be the sum of reasonable (or market comparable & competitive) profit and the cost of the bill of materials which are used to make the product. At the end of the day, iPhone is a phone and a computer. The computer portion often provokes argument. Throughout the years, most consumers have learnt to pay for only what are needed but not for the perceived value when they buy computer. But, why different for phones?

43. AlikMalix unregistered

Actually at the end of the day our smartphones are not just a computer and phone. You base your value on the sum of parts, I base my value on experience. The sheer volume of sales confirms that millions upon millions value the experience from using Apple products such as the "piece of crap" iphone. You go ahead and worry about Ram, Cores, resolution, etc. I don't have to - my phone does everything great - I like the layout that does not impress functuality and quick task management. It plays all high end games and apps - it delivers an ecosystem outside itself in car, health, home, intertainment. Pretty sure android offers same things - but it's not ok with Apple haters that millions prefer the way Apple does it. And that's what I pay for. And stop with this expendable storage crap. It is slow - very slow if you add photos or videos to it. Paton for good expandable storage is cheaper than extra $100 with Apple, but by about $30 except I'd pay extra $30 to have all the 2000 photos pop out silmontaneosly than one by one by one by one. You do get what you pay for - with Apple you get so much more than just resolution and expandable storage.

44. AlikMalix unregistered

Edit... I meant: I like the layout that does not impede functuality (not impress)..

45. P-YWS

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

Experience is feeling, intangible, hard to quantify. To stay neutral and make sure that we are neither biased or being deceived, comparison should be conducted based on the tangible aspects of products. Once again, anyone with reasonable IQ can master any mobile OS and result in similar "feeling". The sheer volume of sales kind of confirm that most iPhone users tend to act very conservatively and fantasize an utopia all the time. Their mindset are somewhat frozen. In fact, this is the characteristics of frenetic. One day, when you get older, I hope you become wiser by being more open minded. As human beings, we should keep accepting new idea, admitting mistakes and deficiency, improve ourselves and move on. As said, I have used many mobile OSs, and will continue to remain open to newer technologies. I expect merchandizers to keep improving their offerings: Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Huawei, ZTE, HTC, Sony. At some point, they are all very competitive and nobody is much better than the others to the point of "millions upon millions" more takers of one particular implementation than the others. After all, we are talking of high-tech gadgets which are always improving and advancing, not a unique or godly product!

46. P-YWS

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

By the way, iPhone is not a piece of crap. It is just as ordinary as the other smartphones. You are over-crediting iPhone than what it deserves! Further, expendable storage is not crap. "It is slow" is inherently a false claim and very untrue. If you know semiconductors and how uSD/eMMC/nFlash devices are or can be implemented and how they interact with the HALs/LIBs, you should know what can be done and what can have been done wrong. Therefore, don't make the false claim based on some bad implementation example. In fact, expendable storage exhibits many inherent benefit: a last-resort method to exchange files (a best-of-class generally offers a fool-proof means as the last resort), a cost effective yet reliable means to infinitely expand the base storage without paying an arm & a leg (in some example) or considerable length of time for the privilege to use the cloud.

41. P-YWS

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

By the way, I live in Northern California, a.k.a. Silicon Valley, and work around the globe for many years. So, I am in daily contact with iPhone users of various ethnics.

12. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Then there is the cost of marketing, shipping the phone es worldwide, the manufacturer has to make some profit, then so does the shop that sells it etc etc

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