This year's Galaxy S20 series won't end up being Samsung's best-ever flagship generation in terms of sales, but the Korean giant did manage to charge a healthy markup on it. And that tradition continued with the newly launched Galaxy Note 20 family. That's according to mobile market experts at Counterpoint Research, who just estimated a single Galaxy Note 20 Ultra SKU with 128GB of storage costs $548 to manufacture.
That's $20 more than the Galaxy S20 Ultra, with the most expensive component on the flagship's spec sheet being Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 5G modem and RF antenna system at $92.20. Of course, this pricey component is inseparable from the chipmaker's latest application processor, the Snapdragon 865+, which sets Samsung back another $57 per unit. Counterpoint Research did not give a concrete estimate on how expensive the Exynos 990 version of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is to manufacture, having only suggested that with around 70% of its hardware sourced in-house, it's likely to allow an even higher profit margin than the Snapdragon version.
Refer to the table below for a detailed breakdown of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra production costs.
A full-priced, Snapdragon-equipped Galaxy Note 20 Ultra yields $741 in profit
Of course, licensing costs are a completely separate issue and if importing the Exynos 990 variants of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra into the U.S. was cheaper, you can be sure Samsung would have already done it. Qualcomm's predatory licensing practices aside, it's not like U.S. consumers have any reason to complain this year, given how great the Snapdragon 865+ is and how decisively mediocre the Exynos 990 turned out.
At the end of the day, Samsung likely won't be making 57% (circa $741) in profit on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra for long. With the iPhone 12 series being just around the corner, the company already greenlit some surprisingly early but welcome discounts on its entire new flagship range. That's without even accounting for the enormous marketing investment the company makes for every single one of its high-end smartphone series.