Back in March, when Samsung unveiled its latest Galaxy handsets, folks were taken aback slightly by the asking price. As it turns out, what Samsung asks you to pay is not as unjustified as it first seemed.
According to a report from IHS Markit, the reason for the Galaxy S8's $750 starting price is purely to do with the cost of building it. As seen in the chart below, the S8 is by far the most expensive phone in the Galaxy series to build at $307.5, surpassing the S7's $255.1 and S7 edge's $271.2.
What's more, it's by far the most expensive smartphone on the market to build, hitting above the Pixel XL's $285.8 and the iPhone 7's $224.8. IHS has specified that the entry level (if it can be called that) version of the S8 was used for reference, specifically the one with 64 GB of internal storage. The chart does not state which versions of the other phones were used, but we can assume they had comparable specs.
What on earth makes it so expensive, then? Unsurprisingly, the curved 5.8-inch display was by far the priciest part at $85, with the SoC coming in behind it at $45, followed by the RAM at $41.50, and the frame at $22.50. The high asking price for the RAM in particular is reflective of some big shifts in availability in the marketplace, according to Andrew Rassweiler, senior director of cost benchmarking services at IHS Markit. He further went on to state that the steep price is "part of a trend that reflects something of an arms race in features among Apple, Samsung and other phone manufacturers, as they all try to add new and distinguishing hardware features".
What's your opinion on the retail price of the S8? Do you think it's justified now that it's revealed to be the costliest device of its type to manufacture?