IHS Insight Perspective
Per IHS iSuppli Compute Platforms research area: "Shipments this year of ultrathin PCs are forecast to reach 27.6 million units, up from just 3.9 million units last year. The ultrathin category includes not just the super-thin Ultrabook computers from Intel Corp., it also covers other thin and light Intel-based systems not specifically tagged as Ultrabooks - including products such as the MacBook Air from Apple Inc., equivalent offerings from Advanced Micro Devices Inc., and upcoming Windows on ARM (WoA) clamshell-type notebooks.'
Furthermore, because of shifting usage and a drift away from conventional PC access to the web and social networking, HP's performance has been suffering, but the suffering, especially on margins will spread to Intel - but not because of the tug of war going on with lower margined AMD as a competitor. We expect Intel's business model to be impacted by tablets and smartphones where, whether they succeed or not in penetrating the market - they are forced to compete on pricing with ARM-core solutions - which inevitably will produce lower overall margins for Intel - unless, they can outdesign and "outfab" competitors by using Intel's strength at the silicon wafer level and push beyond their competition to exotic new nodes competitively.
This AMD brings the price of the ultra-thin laptop to within reach of a much broader audience than say, the Mac Book Air does at twice the retail price ($1200+ vs. $600 or so for this HP). The main difference in price between this HP 6-1010us model and the Intel "paired" offering is the AMD CPU and controller hub chipset.
This ultrathin book features the AMD A6-4455M CPU (2.1GHz), features Windows 7 Home Premium, in a 19.8mm thick device. It features an aluminum enclosure for the display and base, though they are basic stampings, and not machined from a solid block, or the expensive "Apple" way. This provides the solid look and feel, even though it does not provide the same structural rigidity of Apple's MacBook Air enclosure. Other hardware features include a 500GB SATA HDD, 15.6" diagonal display (262K Color TFT, 1366 x 768 Pixel), 4GB of DDR3 DRAM (SODIMM module), and a 60Wh battery (Lithium Polymer).
This ultra thin laptop looks for different ways to compete on thickness, without necessarily competing toe-to-toe with Apple. Stamped aluminum housings, the AMD processor choice, and the choice of hard drives over SSDs, SODIMM module over soldered on-board DRAM, all conspire to bring this HP down to a reasonable cost point that allows it to be sold profitably (albeit not massively). From many angles this is a conventional design that does not push density of design envelopes far enough to become very costly.
Generic PC for home use - mass market appeal and low price point for "ultrathins'.
July 2012 Per press citations and reviews
Pricing and Availability
~$600 USD Currently on HP website (8/31/12)
Online retailers offering the same system concurrently mostly for more than the HP website at the time of writing - though some offer it for as low as $550.
Availability assumed to be primarily North America.
2,400,000 Total Units
1.25 Total Years
For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed an Annual Production Volume of 2,400,000 units and a Product Lifetime Volume of 1.25 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.
Per IHS iSuppli Compute Platforms research area: "Of the ultrathin shipments expected this year, Ultrabooks account for the biggest portion at 80 percent, equivalent to 22.2 million units. In contrast to ultrathins, Ultrabooks are notebook PCs that meet a definite set of criteria from Intel. These include an approved processor such as Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge, specific z-height thickness requirements, extended battery life of five hours or greater, and fast recovery times from deep sleep. Pending Intel's monitoring of industry launches, the overall number of true Ultrabooks may come down if they don't meet these requirements.
Together, the two types of thin mobile computers constitute a new growth powerhouse. Ultrathin shipments will surge another 161 percent next year to 72.1 million units, on their way to some 181.0 million by 2016 equivalent to a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 116 percent.
Growth prospects for the general mobile PC market are positively dull by comparison - just a paltry 8.7 percent during the same five-year period that ultrathins and Ultrabooks are enjoying heady expansion rates.'
No matter what the device is - you can tell a lot about what makes the BOM cost what it does by looking at the following top 10 cost drivers, and each of them is typical for a PC design of any kind. The CPU drives the costs primarily - and in this case the AMD cost is estimated using our IC price evaluator tool which, at 60 points of margin produces an ~$85 price to HP.
The Top 10 components listed below account for 75% of the total BOM cost of the ENVY.
AMD AM4455SHE24HJ CPU - AMD Processor A6-4455M, Dual Core, 2.1GHz, 2x 1MB L2 Cache, HD 7500G GPU, 17W, 32nm- (Qty: 1)
Hitachi HTS545050A7E380 Hard Drive - 500GB, 2.5", SATA 3Gb/s, 5400RPM, 8MB Buffer- (Qty: 1)
Display Module - 15.6" Diagonal, 262K Color TFT, 1366 x 768 Pixels, 252um x 252um Pixel Size, 344.2mm x 193.5mm Active Area, 500:1 Contrast Ratio, 8ms Response Time, LED Backlight- (Qty: 1)
Simplo Technology Battery Pack - Li-Ion Polymer, 4-Cell, 14.8V, 3900mAh, 60Wh- (Qty: 1)
Hynix HMT3251S6CFR8C-PB SO-DIMM DDR3-1600 - 4GB, 1.5V- (Qty: 1)
Enclosure, Main, Bottom - Injection Molded Flame Retardant Polyamide, Glass Filled, Printed, ESD/EMI Coating & Rubberized Coating- (Qty: 1)
AMD 218-0755097 Fusion Controller Hub - AMD 1410h Chipset- (Qty: 1)
Hannstar 6-Layer FR4 - Lead Free, Halogen Free- (Qty: 2)
AC Adapter - 19.5V, 3.33A, 65W, w/ 6ft Cord & Velcro Strap- (Qty: 1)
Broadcom BCM94313HMGB BT / WLAN Half Mini PCIe Module - IEEE802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0LE, Contains Broadcom BCM4313 & BCM20702- (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 their known pre and post production costs to build a per unit cost reflective of theirs actual expenditures.
According to IHS iSuppli's Global OEM Manufacturing & Design (GOMDA) Q2 2012 - Compute Platforms report:
Approximately 96% of HP's MobilePC business is outsourced for manufacturing. They have multiple manufacturing partners, but their top partnerships in descending order of share are: Quanta, Hon Hai, and Inventec. Other outsourcing partnerships for mobile PCs represent only 25% of outsourced production and include: Flextronics, Wistron, and Compal. The country of origin for this unit is China, as per labeling.
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.
Box Contents - China
BT / WLAN Half Mini PCIe Module - China
Display Module - China
Misc Interface PCBs - China
Motherboard - China
Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly - China
Storage Device - China
Webcam Module PCB - 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 Display Module and HDD), 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.
Component counts by assembly and the number of assembly are indicators of design complexity and efficiency.
Component Qty: 1400 - Motherboard
Component Qty: 245 - Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly
Component Qty: 1 - Storage Device
Component Qty: 1 - Display Module
Component Qty: 22 - Box Contents
Component Qty: 86 - BT / WLAN Half Mini PCIe Module
Component Qty: 71 - Webcam Module PCB
Component Qty: 83 - Misc Interface PCBs
Component Qty: 1909 - Grand Total
At a component count of 1908 components (grand total with box contents), this design is inline with the MacBook Air MC503LLA at 1847 components.
This ultrathin notebook computer is based around the AMD A6-4455M processor - a dual-core 2.1GHz processor in 32nm. The AMD processor is supported by an AMD Fusion Controller Hub (AMD 1410h chipset). AMD has almost always offered, in the designs we have analyzed, a single combined controller hub chip, rather than the formerly traditional discrete "Northbridge and Southbridge" chips flanking Intel CPUs. The rest of the motherboard appears to feature common platform components with the Intel version of this laptop.
The mass storage is conventional HDD - a 500GB 2.5" format SATA 5400rpm (Hitachi in this unit). DRAM is implemented with traditional SO-DIMM module (4GB DDR3).
The display itself is a 15.6" Diagonal, 262K Color TFT, 1366 x 768 Pixels from Chimei Innolux. The 6-1010us also includes a BT/WiFi combo card which includes a Broadcom (BCM4314HML1G) and a Broadcom BCM20702A1KWFBG chip.