iPhone teardown winners: Infineon, National, Balda, Samsung

July 3, 2007 – In a teardown analysis of Apple’s iPhone, iSuppli Corp. finds several surprises and newcomers to the device component party, including Infineon, National, and Balda. But the big winner may be a Korean memory giant.

The firm determined that the hardware bill-of-materials for an 8GB iPhone is $265.83 (not including royalties or logistics expenses) — almost exactly what the firm predicted in January, sight-unseen. At a retail price of $599, that generates >55% margins for the devices, notes iSuppli principal analyst Andrew Rassweiler.

The big winner in terms of semiconductor content seems to be Infineon, a new iPod supplier, which provides much of the iPhone’s core communications capability, including digital baseband, radio-frequency transceiver, and power-management devices — accounting for $15.25 worth of the BOM, or 6.1% of the 8GB iPhone’s product cost.

Another big winner is Samsung, which supplies the iPhone’s applications processor with an ARM RISC core (~$14.25 cost), as well as the iPhone’s NAND flash and DRAM memory. iSuppli calculated that the 4GB version has $24 worth of NAND flash, and double that for the 8GB version; in either iPhone Samsung has 1Gbb of DDR SDRAM totaling $14.00 — meaning that Samsung has $76.25 worth of semiconductor content in the 8GB iPhone.

Scoring an important design win is National (also a new iPod family component supplier) with its part-a serial display interface that connects the display to the graphics controller. The chip costs ~$1.50 (<1% of the BOM), but represents an important win -- the high-profile, high-volume iPhone is a huge boost to the company's Mobile Pixel Link standard, which it is promoting for use in mobile devices.

Others contributing to the iPhone display include Germany’s Balda, with Chinese partner TPK Holding (display module, $27), and Epson Imaging Devices Corp., Sharp Corp., and Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co. Ltd. (LCD display, $24.50), the firm says.

Other design wins in the iPhone went to Wolfson (audio codec, n/a), CSR plc (Bluetooth silicon, $1.90), and Marvell (Wi-Fi baseband chip, $6.00), the firm noted.

iSuppli calculates that iPhone sales will kick off with 4.5 million units in 2007, surging to 13.5 million next year and 21.1 million in 2009.


Worldwide iPhone shipment forecast
(Shipments in millions of units)

2007………………..2008……….2009……….2010……….2011
4.49………………….13.5…………21.1…………26.8…………30.02

Source: iSuppli Corp.

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