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How much does it cost Xiaomi to build the Mi 10? US$440 apparently

The Mi 10 Pro. (Source: Xiaomi)
The Mi 10 Pro. (Source: Xiaomi)
The Mi 10 was released last week and fans may have been put off by its nigh-US$600 starting price tag. Here, we have a closer look at how much it may have cost Xiaomi to build the Mi 10, with the goal of ascertaining just how fair the phone's price tag actually is.

Xiaomi recently released the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro. The latter is, perhaps, Xiaomi's most ambitious mainstream device yet, with the regular Mi 10 sharing plenty of attributes. That ambition is reflected in the phones' price tags, too—the Pro model starting at over US$700, making it Xiaomi's most expensive flagship ever. 

The regular Mi 10 is the real subject of discussion, however, and a report by TechInsights claims the Mi 10 5G costs Xiaomi an estimated US$440 to make, per unit. Sadly, the website's "high-level breakdown of the different cost categories" doesn't appear to be available to the public at the moment.

We do know a couple of things from other sources, though. According to Ice Universe, the Mi 10's curved display costs a massive US$90. The source tweet also claims that regular flat displays cost about US$30. Ice Universe's figure appears to be consistent with estimated display prices for the Galaxy S10+. The Mi 10's display isn't made by Samsung, apparently; with the company opting for a panel made by TCL instead. 

We're not sure why Xiaomi would choose to pay US$60 more for a curved display, especially since most people seem to prefer flat displays. Samsung, the pioneers of curved displays, looks to be moving back towards flat displays, even. 

While the Mi 10's US$90 display is expensive, the real kicker is the Snapdragon 865 it features. According to word on the grapevine, the Snapdragon 865 costs about US$125. The Snapdragon 855 was said to cost about US$65 after licensing fees. That estimated cost for the Snapdragon 855 is also bang on with the listed price in the OnePlus 7 Pro's Bill of Material report last year (US$70).

That makes the new Snapdragon 865 twice as expensive as its predecessor. It should be no surprise, then, that Snapdragon 865-powered flagships are going to be more expensive than last year's phones. The Mi 10 is a great example of that. 

Lastly, the 108 MP ISOCELL Bright HMX on the Mi 10 is said to cost about US$50, almost four times the price of 48 MP sensors like the IMX586 on last year's Mi 9 (US$13). 

While the Mi 10 appears to be pricey, some context is needed. Just accounting for the costs of the SoC, display, and main camera sensor, the phone already costs an extra US$150 over its predecessor, the Mi 9. 

That is, of course, assuming the Mi 9's flat display costs just US$30. The Mi 9 had an MSRP of US$445 at launch, while the Mi 10 starts at US$575—a US$130 price difference. It's easy to see that Xiaomi's profit margins haven't suddenly become much larger; building a flagship phone just costs more this year.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > How much does it cost Xiaomi to build the Mi 10? US$440 apparently
Ricci Rox, 2020-02-28 (Update: 2020-02-28)
Ricci Rox
Ricci Rox - News Editor - @riccirox
I'm a freelance copywriter who lives and dies for tech. Android, ​especially. The smartphone market is one going through an impressive growth spurt, so I crawl the Internet with keen interest in a technological ecosystem that doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.