Acquired Electronics360

Mobile Devices

Blackberry (RIM) Pearl 8100 Mobile Phone Teardown

30 November 2012

Main Features

New Blackberry design with atypically "frivolous" user features such as camera and video/audio playback, etc. The Blackberry pearl is a quad-band EDGE capable candybar smartphone. It features a 2.2 inch 65K TFT display, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR and MicroSD/Transflash memory card slot.

Blackberry (RIM) Pearl 8100 Mobile Phone - Main PCB BottomBlackberry (RIM) Pearl 8100 Mobile Phone - Main PCB Bottom
Overview

The Pearl 8100 is a newer RIM/Blackberry design with all of the "to be expected" e-mail functionality - etc. But this model, for once, is not "all business" and has a more aesthetic appeal, and features that users have grown to expect from other more mainstream handsets, as well as their ever-encroaching competition. These features (such as 1.3MP camera, audio & video playback) seemed a little overdue, but have arrived. Furthermore, this is the first Blackberry we have seen that actually looks like a contemporary phone (ie the form factor is that of a conventional phone), and not an overly wide or thick model that we have grown to expect from RIM. Of course, the tradeoff is the keypad - so for heavy messagers and e-mailers, this trade-off may not be acceptable. And of course, the "cherry on top" of all of this is the clever backlit "pearl" or trackball which is a novel pointing device for a handheld wireless device, and is, to date at least, a Blackberry unique feature.

Blackberry (RIM) Pearl 8100 Mobile Phone - Main PCB TopBlackberry (RIM) Pearl 8100 Mobile Phone - Main PCB Top
Target Market

Although previous incarnations of Blackberrys seemed to only target serious business users and enterprise buyers / users, this Blackberry finally crosses over to the mainstream - and is squarely aimed t the more mainstream crossover PDA user. As RIM face ever-encroaching competition from Palm, and now Motorola and Nokia - the features and price points of these competitors are becoming more and more similar.

Released

September 2006.

Pricing and Availability

$349 suggested retail - currently (Q1 2007) available for $199 with rebates from T-Mobile in the US.

Volume Estimations

We are estimating that RIM will produce approximately 1M units over a two-year product lifespan of the Blackberry 8700c. That is higher than previously assumed quantites for RIM products, however this is based on Research in Motion's overall position in the marketplace, as well as the fact that this EDGE capable set is yet a growing sub-segment of the overall marketplace. This is likely, too, to be a much higher seller than previous models because of the mainstreaming of the design and feature-set.

As a reminder, volume production assumptions are not meant to be necessarily "market accurate", and our meant primarily to be 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).

ISuppli's Design Forecast Tool (DFT) and Market Shares

As part of iSuppli's Design Forecast Tool (DFT), we forecast handset shipments by major design feature and manufacture, as well as the number of design starts a manufacturer will have by feature set. From our most recent revision of this tool iSuppli estimates

Research in Motion has a small position in the overall handset marketplace. In 2006 we estimate that about 966 million handsets shipped during the course of the year and that that figure will increase in 2007 to 1054 million units. Of those figures, we estimate that RIM shipped a mere 6 million units or so in 2006, and that that figure will increase to about 7 M units in 2006. However, in EDGE capable product we estimate that RIM shipped much less - about 2M EDGE capable devices in 2006, expected to increase to 4M units in 2007.

Function / Performance

Performance testing was not performed on the Blackberry Pearl 8100 other than general user functionality.

Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers (Representing approximately 75% of total materials costs)

$14.75 - Intel - PXA900B3C312 - Applications Processor - 312MHz

$14.50 - Intel - xx4430LLYBB0 - MCP - NOR Flash 640Mb (80MB) - (2x256Mb 1x128Mb)

$13.29 - Display Module - 2.2" Diagonal, 65K Color TFT, 240x260 Pixels

$8.25 - Camera Module - 1.3MP CMOS, 1/4" Format

$4.05 - High Intensity White Backlight LEDs

$4.04 - RIM - C-M2 - Battery - Li-Ion Polymer, 3.7V, 900mAh

$3.73 - AT&S - Main PCB - 8-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, 2+4+2

$2.75 - Freescale - MMM6000 - RF Transceiver - ZIF, Quad-Band, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, w/ Integrated LNAs & VCOs

$2.65 - CSR - BC41B143A05 - BlueCore4ROM - Single Chip Bluetooth Solution, V2.0+EDR

$2.25 - Freescale - MMM6027 - PAM - Quad-Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, w/ Integrated Antenna Switch

$2.00 - Phihong - PSM04A-050 - Charger - 5.0V, 750mA

$1.86 - Texas Instruments - TPS65820RSH - Power Management & Li-Ion Charger

Subtotal of Main Cost Drivers ~$74

Total Materials Costs~$99

Materials and Manufacturing* ~$108



What Is Not Included in our Cost 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 and 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.

Manufacturing Notes

Country of Origin / EMS provider

The Blackberry 8100 Pearl we received was labeled as Made in Mexico. The charger was also labeled made in China. All other countries of origin are assumptions.

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 chargers), 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.

The issue of labor rates was revisited in Q2 2006 as we began to apply some research by one the major worldwide EMS suppliers and are now applying some of their research on total loaded costs by country and region to arrive at these new rates which are pronouncedly higher on the low end in China. Remember that 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.

Design for Manufacturing / Complexity

The Blackberry Pearl 8100 is a fairly straightforward design with a fairly integrated design that does not make use of sub (daughter) PCBs, such as interconnect PCBs, or keypad PCBs, and does not have a lot of "extra" features (secondary camera, sliding feature, secondary displays, etc.) which keep this design relatively simple from a component count and manufacturing point of view.

Blackberry (RIM) Pearl 8100 Mobile Phone - Main PCB BottomBlackberry (RIM) Pearl 8100 Mobile Phone - Main PCB Bottom

With a component count of 623 components, of which 89 components are discrete mechanical components, puts this phone at an average or below average point for phones with similar features.

Component counts have a direct bearing on the overall manufacturing cycle times and costs, and also can increase or decrease overall yields and re-work. Our calculations of manufacturing costs factor counts and more qualitative complexities in the design. The cost of manufacturing is also, to some extent, decreased in this case because of assumed labor rate applied for China.

Note that manual labor has a much smaller effect on auto-insertion assembly lines (for the Main PCB, for example), where manufacturing costs are much more capital equipment intensive and driven by these investment costs.

Blackberry (RIM) Pearl 8100 Mobile Phone - Display Exploded ViewBlackberry (RIM) Pearl 8100 Mobile Phone - Display Exploded View
Design Notes

Although different in the details, this deisgn, electronically is similar to the Blackberry 8700c model previously analyzed in Q1 06. It features a core Intel applications processor, TI power / battery management IC, and CSR BlueCore4 Bluetooth chip. The RF/PA section has a different vendor lineup, but functionally similar.

This electronic design is very straightforward and well integrated.

Blackberry (RIM) Pearl 8100 Mobile Phone - Camera Module Exploded ViewBlackberry (RIM) Pearl 8100 Mobile Phone - Camera Module Exploded View
Here is a summary of the major components used in the Blackberry Pearl 8100 design:

Main PCB

Baseband

  • Apps Processor - Intel - PXA900B3C312 - 312MHz - Similar to those found in other PDA phones from RIM, Motorola and HTC

Battery / Power Management

  • Texas Instruments - TPS65820RSH - Power Management & Li-Ion Charger

Memory

  • Intel - xx4430LLYBB0 - MCP - NOR Flash 640Mb (80MB) - (2x256Mb 1x128Mb)

RF/PA

  • PAM - Freescale - MMM6027 - Quad-Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, w/ Integrated Antenna Switch
  • RFXcvr - Freescale - MMM6000 - ZIF, Quad-Band, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, w/ Integrated LNAs & VCOs

User Interface

  • Bluetooth - CSR - BC41B143A05 - BlueCore4ROM - Single Chip Bluetooth Solution, V2.0+EDR
  • Codec - Maxim - MAX9853ETM+ - Codec - Audio, Stereo, w/ DirectDrive Headphone Amplifiers

Display

  • 2.2" Diagonal, 65K Color TFT, 240x260 Pixels

Camera Module

  • 1.3MP CMOS, 1/4" Format

Blackberry (RIM) Pearl 8100 Mobile Phone - Camera - Image SensorBlackberry (RIM) Pearl 8100 Mobile Phone - Camera - Image Sensor



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