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.
Mass market smartphone.
Per press releases, first announcements early September, 2011 with product released mid September 2011.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
NAND Flash - Sandisk - SDIN4C2-4G - iNAND, 4GB, MLC
SDRAM - Micron Technology - MT42L64M64D2MC-3IT:A - Mobile DDR2, 2Gb, PoP
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 - 5MP, FSI CMOS, 1/4' Format, Auto Focus Lens, Socketed Module