Acquired Electronics360

Mobile Devices

LG Chocolate KU800 Mobile Phone Teardown

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

Main Features

Mid to high-end slider phone, 3.5G dual-band UMTS / quad-band GSM, HSDPA capable camera phone with dual 2.0MP and VGA camera modules. The KU800 also features a 2" Diagonal 176x220 Pixel 262K Color TFT screen. This phone also features Bluetooth 2.0 (Enhanced Data Rate), USB support, and a significant internal memory (MCP - 256Mb NOR, 64Mb PSRAM) as well as a MicroSD card expansion slot. This phone is very similar to the recently analyzed LG CU500 from a feature and electronic design perspective.

LG Chocolate KU800 Mobile Phone_(iSi) - Main PCB - BottomLG Chocolate KU800 Mobile Phone_(iSi) - Main PCB - Bottom
Overview

The LG Chocolate is part of LG's strategy to shift away from creating klugy, Soviet-style knockoffs of more popular Samsung phones, and focus on creating their own, uniquely styled phones to capitalize on the recent success of aesthetically-oriented phones like the extremely popular Motorola RAZR. The phone is part of what LG refer to as their "Black Label series" which also include the following models: LG KE800 Chocolate II, LG KE820, LG KG810, as well as two color variations on the LG Chocolate KG800 model (red and pink). These new LG phones do distinguish themselves aesthetically somewhat - but the Chocolate is no RAZR in terms of overall thickness.

LG Chocolate KU800 Mobile Phone_(iSi) - Main PCB - BottomLG Chocolate KU800 Mobile Phone_(iSi) - Main PCB - Bottom
The LG Chocolate KU800 is an upgraded version of the KG800, and has upgraded camera resolution, screen resolution and quality as well as 3G HSDPA data transfer. This phone bears striking chipset resemblance, thanks to Qualcomm, with the recently analyzed LG CU500 and Samsung SGH-ZX20 - both of which were HSDPA phones offered in the US by Cingular.

LG Chocolate KU800 Mobile Phone_(iSi) - Main PCB - TopLG Chocolate KU800 Mobile Phone_(iSi) - Main PCB - Top
Target Market

LG seems to be differentiating their products a little more from Samsung lately with more stylish designs - and are getting away (thankfully) from the generic silver flip phone designs of yesteryear - their designs seem more focused on capturing a more stylish - youthful audience. However, this phone specifically would have to focus primarily on those who intend to leverage the high data speed of HSDPA and the 2MP camera module - the primary features of the phone. Given the newness of this technology and the focus on data rate - this would be focused on more niche, upscale early-adopters, but may soon become the mainstream.

Service providers are only too happy to make this segment more mainstream as their revenues will be improved through the offering of HSDPA/EDGE oriented subscription services featuring paid downloading of streaming music and video channels, such as service provider Cingular's "Cingular Video" for example. Vodafone in Europe are another example of a service provider offering such subscriptions with their "Vodafone Live" services.

Released

Oct 16, 2006 per Vodafone website - part of the Christmas 2006 lineup.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing for this model not yet available online from Vodafone.

Volume Estimations

HSDPA phones are relatively new on the market and have not seen a great deal of penetration yet, we are therefore assuming a relatively modest lifetime production volume of approximately 950,000 units for this model. Estimate based on the assumption of 2 year life span.

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 10.53M HSDPA handsets will ship in 2007 and 28.16 M in 2008 in the global market. We further forecast the introduction of 3 HSDPA handsets by 2006 by LG; and estimate the introduction of 2 more HSDPA handset models in 2007, as well as 2 in 2008. iSuppli forecasts 9.6% of the HSDPA market share from LG.

Function / Performance

Functional testing was not performed on the LG Chocolate KU800.

Manufacturing Notes

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

As is typically the case with LG and Samsung phones - the product is labeled as Made in Korea, furthermore, we have assumed that for the LG CU500, the PCB was also populated in Korea, but that custom mechanicals (plastics and metals) were sourced from China. Chargers and other box contents were not submitted for analysis - phone and battery only.

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.

LG Chocolate KU800 Mobile Phone_(iSi) - Display Module - Exploded ViewLG Chocolate KU800 Mobile Phone_(iSi) - Display Module - Exploded View
Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

At an overall component count of 685, the LG KU800 is "mid-range" in terms of overall component count for similar phones - however, somewhat like the LG KU500, it was surprising to see so many mechanical components. At 122 components, this phone is within the norms of other non-candybar phones, however the mechanical complexity is towards the high end of such phones. More mechanically complex phones generally involve more hand assembly, and have longer manufacturing cycle times.

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, increased in this case because of assumed labor rate applied for Korea vis--vis much lower rates applied when the country of origin is 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.

Design Notes

The bulk of the design here revolves around a Qualcomm chipset. The phone uses an "all-in-one" DBB baseband solution from Qualcomm (MSM6275). This chip really centralizes all of the functionality of the phone including even Bluetooth baseband functionality, as well as GPS functionality. We have also seen the Qualcomm MSM6275 chip in the LG CU500, Samsung SGH-Z520 and SGH-ZX20 analyses.

LG Chocolate KU800 Mobile Phone_(iSi) - Interconnect PCB - TopLG Chocolate KU800 Mobile Phone_(iSi) - Interconnect PCB - Top

Main PCB

Baseband

  • DBB - Qualcomm - MSM6275 - Digital Baseband Processor, Quad-Band GSM/GPRS, GPS, UMTS, HSDPA & Bluetooth

Battery / Power Management

  • Power Management IC - Qualcomm - PM6650

Memory

  • Toshiba Semiconductors - TY9000A800E0GG - MCP - 256Mb NOR, 64Mb PSRAM

RF/PA

  • PAM (GSM) - TriQuint Semiconductor - TQM7M5003 - Quad-Band, GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • PAM (WCDMA) - Anadigics - AWT6277R - PAM - WCDMA, 1920MHz - 1980MHz
  • RF Transceiver (GSM/UMTS) - Qualcomm - RTR6250 - ZIF, Quad-Band GSM/GPRS Transceiver and Tri-Band UMTS 800/1900/2100MHz Transmitter
  • RF Receiver - Qualcomm - RFR6250 - ZIF, Dual Band UMTS 1900/2100MHz
  • Antenna Switch - Epcos - D5006

User Interface

  • Kyocera - RB06A - Bluetooth RF Module (Bluetooth baseband processor integrated into Qualcomm MSM6275)

Display

  • 2" Diagonal TFT - 262K Color - 176 x 220 pixels

LG Chocolate KU800 Mobile Phone_(iSi) - Primary Camera - Exploded ViewLG Chocolate KU800 Mobile Phone_(iSi) - Primary Camera - Exploded View

Camera Modules

Primary Camera Module

Primary Image Sensor

Micron Technology - MT9D011 - 2 MP, CMOS, 1/3" Format - 2.8 um x 2.8 um Pixel Size, 4.48 mm x 3.36 mm Active Area

Secondary Camera Module

Secondary Image Sensor

Micron Technology - MT9V112 - VGA, CMOS, 1/3" Format - 3.6 um x 3.6 um Pixel Size, 2.30 mm x 1.73 mm Active Area

(Flash lighting is a feature - but is separate from modules themselves - see Camera Flash PCB.)



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