Friday, 23 April 2021 11:33

Samsung S21 series about 7% cheaper to produce, analyst firm claims

Samsung S21 series about 7% cheaper to produce, analyst firm claims Courtesy Samsung Electronics

The production of a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra mmWave 128GB smartphone costs Samsung Electronics up to US$533 (A$691.1), about 7% less than the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, the technology analyst firm Counterpoint Research claims.

An analysis of the bill of materials showed that the models in the S21 series cost between US$400 and US$600. The integration of a 5G modem in the main chipset had simplified the system, resulting in a lower cost.

Additionally, Samsung adopted its own SoC, the Exynos 2100, meaning this component of the smartphone cost less. In total, about 63% of the cost of the S21 international edition was covered by Samsung's own ecosystem.

The Galaxy devices were priced lower than in earlier years and gained traction in Europe and North America, the analyst firm said, adding that in February, the first full month of sales, 22% more devices [3.4 million units] were sold compared to the S20 series.

Analyst Parv Sharma said, “In line with the price drops, Samsung managed to deftly balance the performance versus cost. It made a significant improvement in computing power with the 5nm process-based mobile platforms, either Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100, depending on the sales market, and also introduced a refreshed design for the rear camera bump.”

s21 soc

Counterpoint claimed the S21 and S21+ had a more cost-oriented design, and hence the bill of materials cost was estimated to have fallen by 12% to 13% compared to the S20 and S20+ 5G, with hardware specs being the difference.

"Both S21 models have screens with lower density and no ToF [time of flight] camera, along with decreased RAM capacity in the Galaxy S21+," the analysis said. "On the other hand, the new Ultra edition is a real top-of-the-range flagship model, a combination of class-leading specs, from the 6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display to the 108MP-led rear camera setup."

Apart from using a single chip to cut costs, the S21 Ultra also had less mmWave antenna modules, no charger or wired earpiece. "5G baseband and RF components, memory and box contents represent the major areas of the cost decrease," Counterpoint said. "However, the cost of connectivity increased slightly due to the support for UWB and S Pen."

Sharma said: “Samsung has discontinued the development of the Galaxy Note series, with its notable feature of S Pen being passed on to the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

"From 2021 onwards, Samsung’s flagship range (retail price of US$800 and above) will focus on the Galaxy S family and Z series (premium foldables).

"The former is expected to play a critical role in strengthening Samsung’s share in the high-end segment amid increasing competition from both Apple and other Android phones.”

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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