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Mobile Devices

HTC Windows Phone 8X Mobile Handset Teardown

26 March 2013
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

IHS Insight Perspective

The HTC Windows Phone 8X (previously known as HTC Accord) is a smartphone by HTC featuring the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system and it is offered by 3 carriers (AT&T, Tmobile, and Verizon) in the United States. The particular HTC Windows Phone 8X in this teardown analysis is AT&T version. When it comes to customizing, HTC is still very nimble and will accommodate pretty much any changes carriers want. Additionally, HTC has historically been aligned very closely with Qualcomm as a supplier (partner), and seem to focus on implementing complete Qualcomm, turnkey solutions in many designs, and this model shows the typical 'Qualcomm turnkey solution' approach.

HTC Windows Phone 8X Mobile Handset Main ImageHTC Windows Phone 8X Mobile Handset Main Image

Feature Significance

The HTC Windows Phone 8X is current flagship WP8 smartphone from HTC. This HTC smartphone feature a 4.3' 'S-LCD2' display with touchscreen, a multi-mode, multi-band integrated Qualcomm applications processor & baseband processor running 1.5GHz, an 8MP primary camera module (with BSI image sensor), and the processor is supported by 1GB (8Gbits) of DDR2 DRAM - which, increasingly, is becoming the standard for new smartphone designs. This HTC Windows Phone 8X in this teardown analysis is the 8GB version which comply with 8GB of built-in NAND flash memory.

Design Significance

This HTC Windows Phone 8X seems almost like a Qualcomm reference design with the same chipsets we have seen in the HTC One X ATT version as well as 2 Japanese Handsets we torn down earlier this year (Sharp SH-01E & Panasonic P-07D). This design approach demonstrates where Qualcomm and Intel are both headed - towards an oligopolistic domination of the mobile market. This is because few other suppliers will be able to compete with the breadth of product that both can offer as 'one stop shops' for phone OEMs or at the advanced geometries that this design features (28nm for the MSM8960). This HTC Windows Phone 8X shows that Qualcomm is leveraging their breadth into areas of feature integration where we have never seen them before (audio codec IC (WCD9310), and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Combo chip (WCN3660) specifically), meaning Qualcomm is growing their share of the IC content on a per phone basis, but also in simple dollars and cents. Furthermore, Qualcomm still maintains in this design, all of the slots they usually dominate when a Qualcomm core processor is chosen. These 'defacto' companion ICs from Qualcomm include, in this case, the power management slots (PM8921), and RF Transceiver slots (WTR1605L).

Target Market

Entry-Level Smartphone

Based on retail pricing, it seems that Microsoft's strategy (or accidental happenstance) may be to enable less expensive smartphone designs to attack the $99 subsidized price point - or 'entry-level' smartphones.

Released

Sept, 2012 per found releases

HTC Windows Phone 8X Mobile Handset - Main PCB BottomHTC Windows Phone 8X Mobile Handset - Main PCB Bottom

Pricing and Availability

$49.99 USD Subsidized

Subsidized pricing (from AT&T) at the time of writing (Feb 2013) is currently $49.99USD with two-year contract ($399.99USD with no contract). $99.99USD subsidized pricing (from AT&T) with two-year contract for the 16GB version ($449.99USD with no contract).

US / AT&T, Tmobile,Verizon

HTC Windows Phone 8X is available under 3 carriers (AT&T, Tmobile, & Verizon) in the United States.

Volume Estimations

1,500,000 Total Units
1 Total Years

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed an Annual Production Volume of 1500000 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.

HTC Windows Phone 8X Mobile Handset - Disassembly View 1HTC Windows Phone 8X Mobile Handset - Disassembly View 1

Market Performance

Based on IHS iSuppli's Design Forecast Tool (DFT) - Mobile Handsets H2 2011, we see HTC's shipments of LTE phones doubling from 2011 to 2012 to roughly 8 million unit shipments (in 2012) or about 14% of total shipments from HTC for 2012. We expect such models to grow to about 41% of total shipments by HTC by 2015.

In the big picture, although we currently forecast that HTC (in 2012) represents less than 4% of total unit shipments, in smartphones, where they are uniquely focused, they are still a force to be reckoned with, despite being in the same design boat with so many competitors.

HTC Windows Phone 8X Mobile Handset Cost AnalysisHTC Windows Phone 8X Mobile Handset Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

HTC are one of the handset OEMs that still have a lot of relevance and attention in the market place (in a thinning crowd of players). We therefore reflect their relative purchasing power in our pricing analysis.

Total BOM: $172.49
Top Cost Drivers below: $119.96
% of Total BOM 70%

Main Cost Drivers below

Qualcomm MSM8960 Apps / Baseband Processor - Multi-Mode, Multi-Band, GSM/CDMA/EVDO RevB/HSPA+/LTE, Dual-Core CPU, 1.5-1.7GHz / Core, Adreno 225 GPU, 28nm, PoP- (Qty: 1)
Sharp LS043K1SX01 Display Module - 4.3' Diagonal, 16.7M Color TFT, IPS Mode, 1280 x 720 Pixels, 74.25um x 74.25um Pixel Size, 95.04mm x 53.46mm Viewable Area- (Qty: 1)
Primary Camera Module - 8MP, BSI CMOS, 1/3.2' Format, Auto Focus Lens- (Qty: 1)
Samsung Semiconductor K3PE7E700D-XGC2 SDRAM - Mobile DDR2, 1GB, PoP- (Qty: 1)
Young Fast Optoelectronics Display Window / Touchscreen Aseembly - 4.3', Capacitive, Tempered Glass Over ITO Film, Painted, Printed- (Qty: 1)
SK Hynix H26M42002GMR Flash - eMMC NAND, 8GB, MLC- (Qty: 1)
Qualcomm WTR1605L RF Transceiver - Multi-Band, GSM/EDGE/HSPA+/LTE- (Qty: 1)
UMT - Unimicron Technology 8-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, Any Layer Stacked Via, Lead-Free, Halogen-Free- (Qty: 1)
Amperex Technology 35H00199-01M Battery - Li-Polymer, 3.8V, 1800mAh, 6.8Wh- (Qty: 1)
Qualcomm PM8921 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 their known pre and post production costs to build a per unit cost reflective of theirs actual expenditures.

Manufacturing Notes

HTC build their own phones in their own facilities and do not use outside EMS providers. HTC builds product in-house. Products typically start their lifespan being built in Taiwan, then ultimately transition to facilities in China for cost optimization purposes.

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 - Taiwan
Camera Assembly - Taiwan
Display / Touchscreen - Taiwan
Main PCB - Taiwan
Misc PCB Assemblies - Taiwan
Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly - Taiwan

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.

Design Complexity

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

Component Qty: 835 - Main PCB
Component Qty: 3 - Display / Touchscreen
Component Qty: 56 - Camera Assembly
Component Qty: 106 - Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly
Component Qty: 183 - Misc PCB Assemblies
Component Qty: 14 - Box Contents
Component Qty: 1197 - Grand Total

For an LTE design, the HTC Windows Phone 8X demonstrates how second generation designs have done a great job of integration vs. first generation LTE designs we have torn down over the last two years. This is evidenced pretty clearly in the component count, which, in this case, at 1183 components (not including box contents), is a big improvement over our historical average closer to 1500 components. Having said that we still see first gen LTE designs, and this may be carryover, or an attachment to internally developed sources (Samsung and Motorola Mobility come to mind) where both companies have home grown solutions to LTE connectivity, and possibly an aversion to becoming over leveraged with Qualcomm. Nonetheless the HTC one really streamlines the functionality by keeping the component counts low.

Furthermore, by going with a turnkey solution like this, HTC likely get a lot of design support on such devices which improves their time to market and minimizes man-hours spent internally spinning the design.

Design Notes

As mentioned in the overview section -this phone leverages a Qualcomm turnkey solution and Qualcomm dominates all of the highest levels of IC functionality within the design. At it's core the HTC Windows Phone 8X features the MSM8960, which is built in 28nm geometry. This is a highly integrated chip that represents a more integrated second generation LTE solution that also supports legacy HSPA+ and EvDO functionality all in one chip. That's a big change from the first gen LTE solutions we saw where the LTE section was almost like an entirely discrete RF/PA section tacked on to a legacy HSPA+ or EvDO design. With the right frequency band support in the RF/PA section, this chip could conceivably support a single 'one design for all markets' solution. But therein lies the rub: the number of different LTE frequencies that would need to be supported makes that goal currently impractical for manufacturers.

Furthermore, this HTC Windows Phone 8X shows that Qualcomm is leveraging their breadth into areas of feature integration where we have never seen them before (audio codec IC (WCD9310), and WiFi/Bluetooth Combo chip (WCN3660) specifically), meaning Qualcomm is growing their share of the IC content on a per phone basis, but also in simple dollars and cents. Furthermore, Qualcomm still maintains in this design, all of the slots they usually dominate when a Qualcomm core processor is chosen. These 'defacto' companion ICs from Qualcomm include, in this case, the power management slots (PM8921), and RF Transceiver slots (WTR1605L).

HTC Windows Phone 8X Mobile Handset - Box ContentsHTC Windows Phone 8X Mobile Handset - Box Contents



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