Teardown

Samsung Galaxy S4: Coleslaw in U.S., kimchee in Korea

May 9, 2013: 11:08 AM ET

Unlike Apple, Samsung makes different flavors for different regional tastes.

The Galaxy S4 at its U.S. unveiling.

The Galaxy S4 at its U.S. unveiling.

FORTUNE -- Although from the outside they look the same, on the inside the Galaxy S4 that Samsung sells in the U.S. and the one it sells in Korea turn out to have significant differences -- including the apps processor, the wireless subsystem and the bill of materials.

The differences were discovered when the two products were dissected by the iSuppli wrecking crew at IHS.

The component costs of the 16 GB model sold in the U.S. is $229, according to IHS, rising to $237 when the manufacturing cost is added. The Korean edition has a BOM of $244 and a combined assembly and component cost of $252. (See table below.)

"The products are as different from each other as kimchee and coleslaw," said Vincent Leung, senior analyst for IHS' teardown services, in a press release issued Thursday.

According to Leung, changing components from one market to another would not be Apple's (AAPL) style.

"With at least four different known incarnations of the Galaxy S4, Samsung is demonstrating its strategy of offering a mobile product that has appealing features and pricing -- and then adapting the device to suit the tastes of varying markets or regions. This approach is in stark contrast to the one-size-fits-all philosophy used by Apple Inc., Samsung's primary competitor in the wireless space."

Below: IHS's tale of the tape.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 10.27.02 AM

Click to enlarge.

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