In terms of cost, iSuppli's teardown analysis of Apple's iPhone offered few surprises, with its Bill-of-Materials (BoM) closely conforming with the preliminary functional estimate issued in January by iSuppli. However, in terms of suppliers, the iPhone is packed with surprises, with newcomers Infineon Technologies, National Semiconductor and Balda providing key components in the product - along with established component makers like Samsung Electronics - according to iSuppli's Teardown Analysis service.
"iSuppli's teardown, conducted this weekend, determined that the 8Gbyte version of the iPhone has a total hardware BoM and manufacturing cost of $265.83, generating a margin in excess of 55 percent on each 8Gbyte iPhone sold at the $599.00 retail price," said Andrew Rassweiler, principal analyst for iSuppli.
In January, before iPhones were available for physical teardown, iSuppli estimated a US$264.85 hardware BoM and manufacturing cost for the 8Gbyte iPhone. Note that these costs do not include royalties and logistics expenses.
iPhone Semiconductor Winners
Infineon, a new supplier to the iPod family, was among the biggest winners in terms of semiconductor content. The German semiconductor supplier contributed the digital baseband, radio-frequency transceiver and power-management devices, providing much of the core communications capability of the iPhone. Altogether, Infineon's silicon content accounted for $15.25 worth of the iPhone's BoM, representing 6.1 percent of the 8Gbyte version of the product's total cost.
National's contribution to the iPhone BoM is relatively small, with its lone chip in the product costing $1.50, which represents less than 1 percent of total product cost. However, the part-a serial display interface - represents an important design win for National, which has never had a part in an iPod. The chip, which connects the display to the graphics controller, uses National's Mobile Pixel Link standard, which the company has been attempting to promote for use in mobile devices. This is a significant win for National in a high-profile platform that is expected to ship in large volume.
TPK Solutions (Balda) gets touch screen module, Epson gets display
One of the key features of the iPhone is the display, and the supplier for the display module in the model torn down by iSuppli was Balda of Germany in association with its partner TPK Holding of China. The module costs an estimated $27, representing 10.8 percent of the 8Gbyte model's cost.
The iPhone's touch-screen display itself is supplied by multiple sources: Epson, Sharp and Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co. Ltd. The cost of the unusually thin touch screen used in the iPhone is estimated at $24.50, representing 9.8 percent of the 8Gbyte version's costs.
Samsung scores again
Perhaps the biggest winner among the component suppliers for the iPhone was Samsung. The South Korean electronics giant supplies the iPhone's applications processor, which includes an ARM RISC core. The processor costs $14.25 in both versions of the iPhone.
The company also contributed the NAND flash memory and DRAM for the iPhone. In the 4Gbyte version, Samsung has $24 worth of NAND flash, and $48 in the 8GByte version. For both versions, Samsung supplies 1Gbit of Double Data Rate SDRAM worth $14.00.
Samsung has $76.25 worth of semiconductor content in the 8Gbyte version of the iPhone, giving the company a 30.5 percent share of the product's hardware cost-the largest total of any single supplier.
Other companies scoring design wins in the iPhone include:
- Wolfson, which continues to maintain its design win for the audio codec-a notable achievement given the obvious challenge to maintain design wins from generation to generation in the iPod family.
- CSR plc, which supplies the iPhone Bluetooth silicon costing $1.90.
- Marvell, which is contributing a Wi-Fi baseband chip costing $6.00.
The attached figure presents major components and suppliers in the iPhone.
Sales of the iPhone have kicked off with a bang, and iSuppli believes that this strong performance will continue. Shipments of iPhones are expected to amount to 4.5 million units this year, and will expand by a factor of nearly seven to reach more than 30 million by 2011, according to Tina Teng, analyst, wireless communications, for iSuppli."
Tags: [flash memory] [ipod] [bluetooth] [isuppli] [infineon technologies] [toshiba] [sharp] [touch-screen] [infineon] [memory] [samsung electronics] [balda] [nand] [andrew] [dram] [display] [national semiconductor] [touch screen]
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