According to a teardown and component analysis by IHS (via Recode), Samsung’s flagship device costs roughly $256 to make. That price includes the bill of materials, as well as the estimated assembly cost.
In an interview with Re/code, the leader of this teardown Andrew Rassweiler noted that Samsung’s smartphones have been going up in cost. However, Rassweiler also stated that, “Inside we see mostly a lot of recycled components that we’ve seen before. There’s really nothing special inside where Samsung is pushing the envelope,” although he did give credit to Samsung for the water-resistant design.
The main components of the phone aren’t particularly new or exciting, as chips like the Snapdragon 801 have been in other phones before. The display is the most expensive single component of the device, accounting for $63 of the total cost.
It seems that Samsung did cheap out on at least one major component: the fingerprint sensor costs approximately $4. That fingerprint sensor has been a source of frustration for many early reviewers. By comparison, Apple’s Touch ID system costs nearly three times that, at $15.