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Mobile Devices

Apple iPad MC733LL/A (16GB / 3rd Generation / Wi_Fi + 4G - Verizon/AT&T) Tablet Teardown

30 November 2012
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

IHS Insight Perspective

With an IHS iSuppli preliminary 1 year production estimate of 75 million units, the iPad continues to be a force of nature in the tablet market. Others have argues that the iPad still is the tablet market. Apple continues to make evolutionary improvements and innovates in ways that are tough to follow because of their R&D strength that remains focused on a single tablet at a time. Apple adds a retina display, an upgraded A5X (vs. A5) processor with quad-core graphics, and LTE connectivity. The end result is a much more powerful product that requires a battery that nearly doubles in capacity.

Apple iPad MC733LL/A (16GB / 3rd Generation / Wi_Fi + 4G - Verizon/AT&T) Tablet - Device View 1Apple iPad MC733LL/A (16GB / 3rd Generation / Wi_Fi + 4G - Verizon/AT&T) Tablet - Device View 1
Feature Significance

From a consumer perspective the main differences are in the "Retina display" which features 2048x1536 resolution (an upgrade from 1024x768 previously), a more powerful A5X processor with quad-core graphics, a DRAM upgrade from 4Gbits to 8Gbits), LTE (4G) functionality, and an upgraded primary camera module (5MP). The format remains unchanged with a 9.7" diagonal screen. The thickness stays roughly the same.

Design Significance

The combination of the new display with it's 84 LEDs in the BLU, the larger A5X processor being still built in 45nm process geometry, and the additional LTE module (based on Qualcomm's MDM9600) all add up to a pretty big power budget which results in the 42.5WH battery, as opposed to the 25WH battery in the iPad 2. As the features go up, so complexity has gone up along with the power requirements. We expect the next generation to focus on integration and simplification as the iPad 2 did after the first model was launched.

Apple iPad MC733LL/A (16GB / 3rd Generation / Wi_Fi + 4G - Verizon/AT&T) Tablet - Exploded ViewApple iPad MC733LL/A (16GB / 3rd Generation / Wi_Fi + 4G - Verizon/AT&T) Tablet - Exploded View

Target Market

Mass Market

The iPad created the tablet market and has been a broadly popular sector leader and dominator since.

Released

March 16, 2012 per press release

The iPad, like the iPhone, seems to establish an annual cadence, and more or less stick to the calendar. Last year's product also was launched in Q1 2011.

Pricing and Availability

$499 to $829

Apple has maintained the same price points for the new iPad as had been established for the iPad 2. The option structure remains the same as well, meaning that there are 3 memory configurations of a WiFi only version (16GB, 32GB, and 64GB), and the same three memory configurations for a WiFi + 4G version.

Worldwide

Note that the hardware used in this analysis was a model carried by Verizon, however because we expected minor RF and PA section differences (which there are), we also simultaneously analyzed a new iPad from AT&T. Worldwide we expect one of these two variants to be distributed.

Apple iPad MC733LL/A (16GB / 3rd Generation / Wi_Fi + 4G - Verizon/AT&T) Tablet - Main PCB TopApple iPad MC733LL/A (16GB / 3rd Generation / Wi_Fi + 4G - Verizon/AT&T) Tablet - Main PCB Top

Volume Estimations

75M Total Units
1 Total Years

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed an Annual Production Volume of 75M units and a Product Lifetime Volume of 1 year(s).

Teardown volume and production assumptions are primarily used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially). Unless assumed volumes are different by an order of magnitude, minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis because of this.

Market Performance

Apple is still putting a lot of dollars under the hood of this iPad, despite having tremendous market leverage (not everything comes cheap!). We have very high confidence in all of the major pieces of the cost puzzle at the time of writing (March 2012), however, we expect a lot of cost erosion over the course of production which should last a total of 2 years.

Cost Notes

Apple is still putting a lot of dollars under the hood of this iPad, despite having tremendous market leverage (not everything comes cheap!). We have very high confidence in all of the major pieces of the cost puzzle at the time of writing (March 2012), however, we expect a lot of cost erosion over the course of production which should last a total of 2 years.

Total BOM: $325.78
Top Cost Drivers below: $255.93
% of Total BOM 79%


Main Cost Drivers below

$87 - Samsung LTN097QL01-A02 Display Module - 9.7" Diagonal, IPS Technology, 2048x1536 Pixels- (Qty: 1)
$37.5 - Display Window / Touchscreen Assembly - 9.7", Capacitive, High Durability Glass over Glass, Painted, w/ Integral Flex PCB- (Qty: 1)
$30 - Simplo Technology Battery Pack - Li-Polymer, 3.7V, 11500mAh, 42.5Wh- (Qty: 1)
$19.53 - Samsung Semiconductor APL5498 Application Processor - SoC, Dual-Core CPU, Quad-Core GPU, 45nm, w/ Copper Heatsink- (Qty: 1)
$19.29 - Qualcomm MDM9600 Baseband Processor - Multi-Mode, Multi-Band, GSM/CDMA/EVDO RevB/LTE- (Qty: 1)
$17.78 - Enclosure, Main, Bottom - Machined Aluminum, Anodized, Etched, Printed- (Qty: 1)
$16 - Toshiba Semiconductor THGVX1G7D2GLA08 Flash - eSD NAND, 16GB, MLC- (Qty: 1)
$11.25 - Rear Camera Module - 5MP, BSI CMOS, 1/3.2" Format, Auto Focus Lens- (Qty: 1)
$10 - Elpida EDB4064B2MA-8D-F SDRAM - Mobile DDR2, 4Gb- (Qty: 2)
$2.04 - Qualcomm PM8028 Power Management IC- (Qty: 1)

Not Included in Analysis

The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect ONLY the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), AND manufacturing with basic test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself - cost of intellectual property, royalties and licensing fees (those not already included into the per component price), software, software loading and test, shipping, logistics marketing and other channel costs including not only EMS provider and the OEM's margin, but that of other resellers. Our cost analysis is meant to focus on those costs incurred in the manufacture of the core device and exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.

We do provide an Excel tab "Overall Costs" where a user can enter thier known pre and post production costs to biuld a per unit cost reflective of thiers actual expenditures.

Manufacturing Notes

The new iPad is understood to be built by Hon Hai (Foxconn), as has been the case with most of the iPhones built to date and other Apple products.

Country of Origin

For the purposes of this analysis, we are assuming the following country(ies) of origin for each level of assembly, based on a combination of "Made In" markings, and/or assumptions based on our knowledge of such equipment.

Battery - China
Box Contents - China
Camera Assembly - China
Display / Touchscreen - China
LTE Module - China
Main PCB - China
Misc PCB Assemblies - China
Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly - China

Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of "finished" sub-assemblies (such as TBD), we do not calculate internal manufacturing costs, but rather assess the market price of the finished product in which case country of origin assumptions may or may not have a direct effect on pricing.

Labor rates are applied directly only to hand inserted components and systems in our bill of materials, and although regional assumptions do, these new rates do not have a direct effect on our modeled calculations of placement costs for automated SMD assembly lines. "Auto" inserted components (such as SMT components) placement costs are calculated by an iSuppli algorithm which allocates a cost per component based on the size and pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Apple iPad MC733LL/A (16GB / 3rd Generation / Wi_Fi + 4G - Verizon/AT&T) Tablet - LTE ModuleApple iPad MC733LL/A (16GB / 3rd Generation / Wi_Fi + 4G - Verizon/AT&T) Tablet - LTE Module

Design Complexity

Component counts by assembly and the number of assembly are indicators of design complexity and efficeincy.

Component Qty: 99 - Display / Touchscreen
Component Qty: 906 - Main PCB
Component Qty: 469 - LTE Module
Component Qty: 133 - Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly
Component Qty: 2 - Battery
Component Qty: 77 - Camera Assembly
Component Qty: 144 - Misc PCB Assemblies
Component Qty: 12 - Box Contents
Component Qty: 1842 - Grand Total

It is interesting to see the evolution of complexity with the iPad. If you look at all 3 generations side by side, you see that while the initial iPad 3G had 1628 components in total, the second generation dropped to 1239 component in all. This latest iPad jumps up to 2313 components (not including the subcomponents for the display module and other modules which are purchased as "units'). That seems to indicate that if feature sets do not suddenly expand, that the normal integration trend can be fairly aggressive in lowering components counts, complexity and cost.

Apple iPad MC733LL/A (16GB / 3rd Generation / Wi_Fi + 4G - Verizon/AT&T) Tablet - Display ModuleApple iPad MC733LL/A (16GB / 3rd Generation / Wi_Fi + 4G - Verizon/AT&T) Tablet - Display Module

Design Notes

The display is the most tangible upgrade to the iPad platform, which not only jumps from 1024x768 resolution to 2048x1536 pixels, but requires 84 LEDs to backlight it, as opposed to only 36 in the last generation display. Apple chose the first generation iPad display very carefully, as it was key to the user experience. For that reason they chose AFFS technology which allowed the screen to have a very high viewing angle, while providing enough energy efficiency to allow for good battery autonomy. The A5X processor is an upgrade as well both in performance and power requirements - and though it is still a dual-core ARM processor at it's core, it now features 4 GPU cores, and is still built in 45nm. Though it had been rumored to be in 32nm process geometry, it appears to be waiting for an A6 variant to make that die shrink. The LTE functionality is supported by Qualcomm's MDM9600 in both the Verizon and AT&T models analyzed. The only difference between the two model in this area is in a handful of components aimed at supporting specific LTE bands - note that we are including a separate tab for the BOM containing the LTE module from the AT&T version (the rest of the hardware analyzed was from a iPad sold by Verizon). We are assuming, based on a high level look at the rest of the design, that there are no other differences between the two designs, and that it comes down to minor differences in the 4G module only.


Apple iPad MC733LL/A (16GB / 3rd Generation / Wi_Fi + 4G - Verizon/AT&T) Tablet - Box ContentsApple iPad MC733LL/A (16GB / 3rd Generation / Wi_Fi + 4G - Verizon/AT&T) Tablet - Box Contents



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