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March 25, 2013 by Dan Nixon
New research has found that the majority of components in the just-released Samsung Galaxy S4 are from Samsung itself, including key items such as the display.
Research firm IHS has carried out a virtual tear down of the Exynos Octa-core version of the new Samsung flagship and revealed that of a total build cost of $236, up to $149 will go back to the company’s component-making divisions.
That is the kind of figure that could get Apple quaking in its boots, as even the iPhone cannot boast that high a proportion of own brand components. Obviously, this not only has huge financial implications, but more importantly, allows Samsung to offer joined-up thinking in terms of innovation.
For example, software engineers at the company were able to get an early heads-up on the octa-core processor’s capabilities and build a software platform that specifically takes advantage of the chipset.
Additionally, this level of self-sufficiency should allow Samsung to get its device to market more swiftly and without any of the supply chain issues which have plagued other handsets recently such as the HTC One.
However, as Parmy Olson from Forbes noted, this seemingly ideal situation for the manufacturer could backfire. Olson suggests that “if Samsung is its own best customer when it comes to processors, that creates a burden on its mobile device division to keep dominating the market.”
So, although Samsung could benefit hugely if the Galaxy S4 is as popular as it predecessor the Galaxy S III, if the phone does not perform as expected then the knock on effect throughout the various divisions could be huge.
Olsen also points out that the recent promotion of JK Shin to co-CEO alongside Samsung’s head of TV and Consumer Electronics, Boo-keun Yoon could be significant. The Forbes mobile hack comments: “As Samsung brings its devices into an age of the Internet of Things, where more gadgets, from your phone to your Smart TV, talk to one another, it makes sense for its disparate divisions to collaborate with one another more.”
Whether the Galaxy S4 continues Samsung’s dominance of the Android handset arena remains to be seen (although the early reviews are looking pretty good), but as this latest news shows the Korean manufacturer is possibly the most forward-thinking smartphone manufacturer out there right now.
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