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Teardown: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Posted: 29 Aug 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:teardown  Galaxy Note 10.1  iPad  bill of materials  Wi-Fi 

"The hardware profit margin for the Galaxy Note 10.1 only holds true if Samsung is able to maintain its initial price. And therein lies the rub: no Apple rival has yet demonstrated the capability to actually sell in volume at Rs.27,267.76 ($499), instead falling back on price cuts in order to drive volume," said Rhoda Alexander, director, tablet and monitor research, IHS.

At their original sales prices and BOMs, the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire generated little or no hardware profit—instead trying to make money using more complex business models involving online services.

One of Apple's major competitive advantages is its dominance in semiconductor spending. This allows Apple to command more favourable pricing from its suppliers, helping to reduce its costs and expand its profit margins.

However, Samsung can counter this advantage by leveraging its own internal sources of supply, IHS noted.

"Samsung is a behemoth in the electronic industry and its competitive strength lies in its control, via internal sourcing, of a large percentage of the components that go into its final products," Rassweiler said. "This allows Samsung to keep costs down, while delivering competitive differentiation. The company's internal sourcing strategy is certainly in evidence in the Galaxy Note 10.1, where Samsung supplies the memory—both flash and DRAM—as well as the core processor, battery and many other components."

The Galaxy Note 10.1 features a quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, the same recently found in the Samsung Galaxy S III handset. The tablet also has the same Intel Corp. wireless chipset found in the Galaxy S III, which includes the PMB9811 and PMB5712 devices.

The teardown also revealed the tablet isn't breaking new ground in terms of technology. As is usually the case with such hardware releases, each device offers only an incremental set of improvements compared to the previous generation.

However, the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in some regards does up the ante for media tablet hardware. The new-generation quad-core processor is sure to make a tangible performance improvement, and will be the main upgrade driver for many consumers.

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