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Mobile Devices

Huawei Impulse 4G U8800-51 Mobile Handset Teardown

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

Overview / Main Features

The Huawei Impulse 4G is an ATT branded version of the U8800 model from Huawei that, with some possible hardware variations specific to ATT, is basically known as the Ideos X5 in other markets. Essentially this represents a low-end 4G Android smartphone for ATT at least, who offers this model at a mere $29.99 USD with a two year service contract. This model features "Froyo - or Android 2.2 OS.

The hard features on this phone are modest by current smartphone standards, and the Huawei Impulse is not pushing any envelopes on feature sets with a 3.8 inch diagonal screen (barely larger than the iPhone), a 5 MP camera module (most are now at 8MP these days), an 800MHz MSM7230 apps processor/baseband chips, etc. Basically the features of this phone are all a set of compromises to arrive at a desired price point with subsidies.

Internally - the core of the design is the Qualcomm MSM7230 Apps / baseband processor which operates at 800MHz and is HSPA+ (4G) capable. The design also features supporting Qualcomm chips - PM8058 for power management and the QTR8200 RF transceiver. The Huawei also lags other new smartphone designs in employing the BCM4329 combo chip (WiFi & BT & FM) instead of the newer BCM4330 version. In fact, in every way this Huawei U8800 Impulse 4G cuts all the features back to arrive at the price point including only 2Gbits of DDR2 mobile DRAM and only 4GB of eMMC NAND Flash from SanDisk. All of these design choices conspire to make a phone that seems basic by modern appearances, but broadens the product range for a service provider, giving them multiple price points of entry for consumers who want the smartphone experience.

Huawei Impulse 4G U8800-51 Mobile Handset Main ImageHuawei Impulse 4G U8800-51 Mobile Handset Main Image

Target Market

Mass market smartphone.

Released

Per press releases, first announcements early September, 2011 with product released mid September 2011.

Huawei Impulse 4G U8800-51 Mobile Handset - Main PCB TopHuawei Impulse 4G U8800-51 Mobile Handset - Main PCB Top

Pricing and Availability

Pricing - Per AT&T website: $379.99 with no commitment and $29.99 USD with a 2-year contract at the time of writing (12/2011).

Availability - North America - though the other variant (U8800 IDEOS x5) appears to be available worldwide.

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 1 million 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.

Huawei Impulse 4G U8800-51 Mobile Handset Cost AnalysisHuawei Impulse 4G U8800-51 Mobile Handset Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers Representing ~ 73% of total materials cost

Qualcomm - MSM7230 - Apps / Baseband Processor - Multi-Band, GSM/EDGE/HSPA+, 800MHz ARM11 Core CPU, 2D & 3D GPU, GPS, 45nm, PoP - (Qty:1)

Au Optronics - H380VW01_V0 - Display Module - 3.8' Diagonal, 262K Color TFT, 800 x 480 Pixels - (Qty:1)

Display Window / Touchscreen Assembly - 3.8' Diagonal, Capacitive, Glass/Film, Painted, Printed, w/ Integral Flex PCB - (Qty:1)

Qualcomm - QTR8200 - RF Transceiver - Multi-Band, GSM/EDGE/HSPA+, Integrated Bluetooth & FM, Receive Diversity, 65nm RF CMOS - (Qty:1)

Camera Module - 5MP, FSI CMOS, 1/4' Format, Auto Focus Lens, Socketed Module - (Qty:1)

Sandisk - SDIN4C2-4G - Flash - iNAND, 4GB, MLC - (Qty:1)

Broadcom - BCM4329EKUBG - Bluetooth / FM / WLAN - IEEE802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth V2.1+EDR, FM Radio Receiver & Transceiver, 65nm - (Qty:1)

Transcend - MMAGR02GUECA-MB - MicroSD Memory Card - 2GB - (Qty:1)

Micron Technology - MT42L64M64D2MC-3IT:A - SDRAM - Mobile DDR2, 2Gb, PoP - (Qty:1)

HB4F1 - Battery - Li-Polymer, 3.7V, 1500mAh - (Qty:1)

Total BOM & Manufacturing Costs (Direct Materials + Conversion Costs) $128.20

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 exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.

Manufacturing Notes

EMS Partners

It is our understanding that Huawei still maintains sizeable internal production while using Hon Hai and Flextronics as its EMS providers (with some models contracted on the ODM basis).

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

Based on markings, the unit was assembled in China. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc. were 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 a wall adaptor 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.

Huawei Impulse 4G U8800-51 Mobile Handset - Main PCB BottomHuawei Impulse 4G U8800-51 Mobile Handset - Main PCB Bottom

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The Huawei Impulse 4G has a total component count of 865. Most smartphones we analyze these days now weigh in at the 900 - 1000 component count mark. So while this is more or less 'in line' with most smartphones - it is just below the low end of the spectrum.

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.

Design Notes

Though display and touchscreen are typically the largest cost drivers in smartphones - at 3.8" inches, the Huawei is not pushing the envelope on size or resolution. The display is from AU Optronics, and is a 262K color TFT (most are 16M colors nowadays) with 800 x 480 resolution. The touchscreen is assumed to be a turnkey solution from Synaptics, as Synaptics is the supplier of the touchscreen controller IC (T1320). We understand Synaptics to only provide such ICs as part of a total solution for clients - though we seem to see less and less of them in smartphones.

The core of the design is the Qualcomm MSM7230 Apps / baseband processor which operates at 800MHz and is HSPA+ (4G) capable. The design also features supporting Qualcomm chips - PM8058 for power management and the QTR8200 RF transceiver. All of these are commonly seen in teardowns over the years.

The Huawei also lags other new smartphone designs in employing the BCM4329 combo chip (WiFi & BT & FM) instead of the newer BCM4330 version. In fact, in every way this Huawei U8800 Impulse 4G cuts all the features back to arrive at the price point including only 2Gbits of DDR2 mobile DRAM and only 4GB of eMMC NAND Flash from SanDisk.

One small standout feature is a combo accelerometer/eCompass from ST Micro. Though we certainly expect to see more of these in the near future - most solutions are still discrete solutions with two separate devices.

Huawei Impulse 4G U8800-51 Mobile Handset - Disassembly View 1Huawei Impulse 4G U8800-51 Mobile Handset - Disassembly View 1

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Huawei Impulse 4G design:

Display / Touchscreen

Display Module (Au Optronics - H380VW01_V0) - 3.8' Diagonal, 262K Color TFT, 800 x 480 Pixels

Display Window / Touchscreen Assembly - 3.8' Diagonal, Capacitive, Glass/Film, Painted, Printed, w/ Integral Flex PCB

Main PCB

Apps Processing / Baseband

Qualcomm - MSM7230 - Multi-Band, GSM/EDGE/HSPA+, 800MHz ARM11 Core CPU, 2D & 3D GPU, GPS, 45nm, PoP

RF / PA

RF Transceiver - Qualcomm - QTR8200 - Multi-Band, GSM/EDGE/HSPA+, Integrated Bluetooth & FM, Receive Diversity, 65nm RF CMOS

Memory

NAND Flash - Sandisk - SDIN4C2-4G - iNAND, 4GB, MLC

SDRAM - Micron Technology - MT42L64M64D2MC-3IT:A - Mobile DDR2, 2Gb, PoP

Power Management

Power Management IC - Qualcomm - PM8058

BT / FM / GPS / WLAN

Bluetooth / FM / WLAN - Broadcom - BCM4329EKUBG - IEEE802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth V2.1+EDR, FM Radio Receiver & Transceiver, 65nm

User Interface and Sensors

Accelerometer / eCompass Combo - ST Microelectronics - LSM303DLH - 3-Axis, +-2g/+-4g/+-8g, w /16-bit Data Output

Audio Power Amplifier - Texas Instruments - TPA4411YZ - Stereo, Headphone Driver, 80mW

Camera Module

Camera Module - 5MP, FSI CMOS, 1/4' Format, Auto Focus Lens, Socketed Module

Huawei Impulse 4G U8800-51 Mobile Handset - Box ContentsHuawei Impulse 4G U8800-51 Mobile Handset - Box Contents



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