Overview / Main Features
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc LT15i is an Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) smartphone with a 4.2 diagonal screen with touch, an 8MP camera module (with front facing secondary and LED 'flash' unit), and all based on a Qualcomm MSM8255 second generation SnapDragon processor (1GHz ARM core). It also features an HDMI output jack.
Unlike the recent string of 4G and other gimmick phones we have analyzed (3D anyone?) the SonyEricsson Xperia Arc has little in the gimmick department, and does not offer 4G - rather it distinguishes itself on design. The Arc name is with good reason - it's because of the gentle arch or arc that is sculpted into the back of the phone casing. It's an elegant design that is thin (8.7mm!), and really gives the phone some curves. And even though the Xperia Arc does not seem to be touting it's box features - it still does have them, all the while distinguishing itself from the crowd on style. This has always been the Sony Ericsson difference.
Pricing - Based on a cursory perusal or internet etailers, the Xperia Arc is priced in the low $400's USD to ~$500USD unsubsidized at the time of writing (Aug 2011).
Availability - Worldwide - However, at the time of writing was not found to be offered in the US through carriers.
For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have applied a lifetime production volume of approximately 2 M units.
As a reminder, teardown volume 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.
Main Cost Drivers ~76% of Total Materials Cost
Qualcomm - MSM8255 - Apps / Baseband Processor - Quad-Band GSM/EDGE, HSDA+, 1GHz CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, gpsOne, 45nm, PoP
Display Module - 4.2' Diagonal, 16.7M Color TFT LCD, 480 x 854 Pixels
Camera Module Value - 8.1MP, BSI CMOS, 1/3.2' Format, Auto Focus Lens
$16.75 -Touchscreen Assembly / Display Window - 4.2' Diagonal, Capacitive, Glass/Glass Overlay, Painted, Printed
Elpida - EDB4064B2PD-6D-F - SDRAM - Mobile DDR2, 4Gb (2x 2Gb Die), PoP
Samsung - MMB3R08GUACA-GE - MicroSD Memory Card - 8GB
Qualcomm - QTR8200 - RF Transceiver - Multi-Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA+, Integrated Bluetooth & FM, Receive Diversity, 65nm RF CMOS
Toshiba Semiconductor - TY0D00021401KA - Flash - NAND, SLC, 1GB (Estimated)
UniMicron Technology - 10-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, Stacked Via, Lead-Free, Halogen-Free
Texas Instruments - WL1271L - Bluetooth / WLAN / FM Transmitter/Receiver - Single Chip, IEEE802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth V2.1+EDR, 65nm
BA750 - Battery - Li-Polymer, 3.7V, 1500mAh
Qualcomm - PM8058 - Power Management IC
Salcomp - EP800 - Charger - 5V, 850mA, AC to USB
Direct Materials + Manufacturing $169.08
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 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 in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.
Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions
Based on device markings, we've based our analysis with the final assembly in China. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc.) were also sourced in 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 wall power charger), 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.
Remember also 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. ""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.
Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc handset has an overall component count of 772 (excluding box contents). This is inline with most other 3G smartphone handset designs we have looked at over the last 2 years or so, however it is interesting to note that over the since 2010 if you look at two previous Xperia incarnations (the X10 Mini, and the Xperia Play), the component count of this phone is somewhere in between - with the X10 weighing in at 642 components, and the Play at 952.
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.
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.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc design revolves, from a cost perspective, as many other devices do (in the 'post iPhone release' age), the user interface elements - with a big budgetary focus on the display and the touchscreen. The iPad is one of the best examples of this focus - where an inordinate amount of the budget and design go into these two elements - which are so critical to user experience. And of course the Xperia Arc continues that recent trend focusing a large amount of budget into these areas implementing a 4.2" diagonal 16M 854 x 480 pixel screen, and a glass capacitive touchscreen supported by a Cypress Semi (CY8CTMA300E-48LTX) - despite what seemed like an unstoppable Atmel in touch control - clearly Cypress are fighting their way back into designs - and we have seen a recent 2011 resurgence of new designs with Cypress in this slot.
The integrated core of the design shares similarilties with other Xperia deisgns - specifically the Xperia play which also featured, at it's core, the same Qualcomm MSM8255 baseband / apps processor. In addition, as is typical with Qualcomm core processors - you have the adjoining partner chips, such as, in this design, the RF transceiver (Quad Band GSM/WCDMA/HSDPA - QTR8200), and PM8058 power management IC. This is a fairly well integrated design - as a result of the single package apps & baseband processing from Qualcomm.
In addition to to these core chips it is interesting that the Xperia Arc also eschews using one of the most popular chips we have ever seen (from Broadcom) in favor of Texas Instruments' competing solution for the integrated WLAN / Bluetooth / FM Radio chip (WL1271). HDMI support is provided by Silicon Image's Sil9024ARBT HDMI transmitter.
And finally - though Apple, through their enormous purchasing leverage, always makes on board 'sequestered' NAND Flash a price differentiating 'upsell' feature for Apple, with most other manufacturers (even Samsung) relegating memory content to a bundled MicroSD card - as is the case here. Our Xperia bundle came with an 8GB card.
Here is a summary of the major components used in the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc design:
Display / Touchscreen
- Display Module - 4.2' Diagonal, 16.7M Color TFT, 854 x 480 Pixels
- Touchscreen Assembly / Display Window - 4.2' Diagonal, Capacitive, Glass Overlay, Painted, Printed
- Includes: Cypress Semiconductor - CY8CTMA300E-48LTX - Touchscreen Controller - Capacitive
Apps / Baseband Processing
- Apps Processor - Qualcomm - MSM8255 - Quad-Band GSM/EDGE, HSDA+, 1GHz CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, gpsOne, 45nm, PoP
RF / PA
- RF Transceiver - Qualcomm - QTR8200 - Quad-Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, WCDMA/HSDPA, Integrated Bluetooth & FM , 65nm RF CMOS
Memory (on PCB)
- SDRAM - Elpida - EDB4064B2PD-6D-F - Mobile DDR2, 4Gb (2x 2Gb Die), PoP
- NAND Flash - Toshiba Semiconductor - TY0D00021401KA - NAND, SLC, 1GB (Assumed)
- (The Xperia Arc comes bundled with an 8GB MicroSD card for bulk NAND flash storage)
- PMIC - Qualcomm - PM8058
- Lighting management Unit - Austria Micro Systems - AS3676-ZWLT - DC-DC Converter, Step Up, Charge Pump, 13 Current Sinks, w/ 10-Bit ADC, Audio Sync & ALS/DLS
BT / FM / GPS / WLAN
- Texas Instruments - WL1271L - Bluetooth / WLAN / FM Transmitter/Receiver - Single Chip, IEEE802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth V2.1+EDR, 65nm
User Interface (and Sensors)
- HDMI Transmitter - Silicon Image - SiI9024ARBT - HDMI 1.3, Simplay HD, DVI 1.0, HDCP 1.2, w/ Integrated TMDS core
- eCompass - AKM Semiconductor - AK8975B - 3-Axis, ADC, 13-Bit Digital Output
- Accelerometer - Bosch Sensortec - BMA150 - MEMS 3-Axis, +-2g/4g/8g, Switchable via SPI & I2C Interfaces
- 8.1MP, CMOS, 1/3' Format, Auto Focus Lens