Mobile Devices

BlackBerry (RIM) Bold 9000 Mobile Phone Teardown

01 December 2012
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Overview / Main Features

Research In Motion's (RIM) new Blackberry Bold 9000 represents their first 3G/HSDPA, full QWERTY keyboard and 2MP cameraphone offering. Aside, from the faster network capability, the Blackberry Bold receives a speed bump in terms of sheer processing power via an updated 624MHz Marvell-based processor and an improved Blackberry OS 4.6 platform. RIM made a "bold" design statement by refreshing the traditional stodgy industrial design and adapted a more refined and polished black gloss and textured enclosure. A high resolution color display and updated graphical UI help distinguish the high-end smartphone from previous generations of Blackberries in a continued move to attract more demanding mainstream consumers.

Indeed, the Blackberry Bold 9000 is not only the fullest featured Blackberry to date, but also the most well refined one. RIM increased the available on board memory to handle more graphic intensive tasks and included removable microSD flash memory (1GB included) to store additional files that will inevitably come in use with the larger 3G data bandwidth. RIM included an on-board 802.11a/b/g solution to satisfy enterprise customers as well as a 2MP camera which has become a pre-requisite of any aspiring premium handset. To demonstrate that Blackberries are just as media savvy as the Apple iPhone, RIM has included a suite of video and audio format support, Bluetooth 2.0 with stereo audio (A2DP) profile as well as integrated GPS. Of course, the Blackberry continues with its class-leading pushed email solution integrated and support for 3rd party applications built on Java or the Blackberry OS platform.

Target Market

Primarily for business professionals and high-end mobile email users, however, the Bold's premium design statement is an overt move to attract potential Apple iPhone users.


Per press releases, first released into select global markets on May 12, 2008.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing - Mobile handset pricing typically has little bearing on the true market value of the device due to the fact that service carrier invariably use subsidies to incentivize consumers to commit to long term service contracts. For example,

Availability - At the time of writing (September 2008), the Blackberry Bold is only available in select global markets such as Canada, Hong Kong, Chile, Australia and most Western European countries.

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 3M 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 increment by an order of magnitude. Minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis.

iSuppli's Design Forecast Tool (DFT) and Market Shares

As part of iSuppli Design Forecast Tool (DFT), we forecast handset shipments by major design feature and manufacture, as well as the number of design starts a manufacturer will have by feature set.

In 2008 we estimate that about 216 million UMTS/HSDPA handsets shipped during the course of the year. Of this figure, we estimate that 30 million are tri-band WCDMA capable. Research in Motion has a small position in the overall handset marketplace and we forecast a total shipment of 9 million RIM handsets in the year of 2008.

Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers (Representing ~68% of Total Materials Costs)

$34.34 - Marvell Technology - 88CP930M-BGR1 - Communication Processor - PXA9xx, Integrated Baseband, 624MHz

$16.00 - Samsung - LMS265DC01 - Display Module Value Line Item - 2.65" Diagonal, 65K Color TFT, 320 x 480 Pixels

$10.45 - Samsung Semiconductor - KMYFE0B0CA-D300 - MCP - 8Gb MLC MoviNAND, 1Gb OneNAND, 1Gb Mobile DDR

$9.90 - Camera Module Value Line Item - 2.0MP, CMOS, 1/4" Format, Fixed Lens

$5.95 - Battery - Lithium Polymer, 3.7V, 1550mAh

$4.92 - SiRF - GSC3LTif-8072-TR - GPS - Single Chip, A-GPS, SiRFstarIII, ARM7 Core, 4Mbit on-chip ROM, Internal Flash, 90nm

$4.84 - Texas Instruments - WL1253B - WLAN - 802.11a/b/g, Single-Chip, Integrated Baseband & RF, 90nm

$4.33 - AT&S - 10-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, 2+6+2

$3.00 - SanDisk - MicroSD Card - 1GB

$2.88 - Texas Instruments - TPS65850 - Power Management IC - w/ Integrated Battery Charger

$2.80 - Carrying Case - Stitched Leather, Stamped w/ Reinforcements and Magnetic Insert

$2.50 - PSM05R-050CHW - USB Charger - 5V, 0.5A, w/ 4 Interchangeable International Plug Blades & Box

$1.98 - Enclosure, Main, Top Cover - Injection Molded Lexan EXL1414 Polycarbonate, Silkscreened, Painted

$1.88 - Keypad Assembly - Injection Molded Plastic Keys, Silkscreened, Painted, w/ Chromed Divider, Silicone Rubber Backing, Mylar Insulator & Integral Plastic Mount

$1.85 - CSR - BC41B143A06-IXB-E4 - BlueCore4ROM - Single-Chip Bluetooth Solution, V2.0+EDR

Direct Materials $158.16

Materials and Manufacturing $169.41

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

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

Based on markings, the unit was assembled in Hungary. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc. were sourced in lower cost regions in Eastern Europe.

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), 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 Bold, when compared with the Apple iPhone 3G (to which it is most often held in comparison), despite missing the key feature of touchscreen that the iPhone has, has an amazingly similar total BOM cost and component count. The Blackberry BOLD features a total component count of 1074 (not including box contents), of which 122 are mechanical in nature. The iPhone 3G, by comparison features 1116 components.

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. The cost of manufacturing is also, to some extent, decreased in this case because of assumed labor rate applied for Eastern Europe.

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 initially, the electrical design of the Bold looked to us as a repeat of the previously analyzed Blackberry Pearl 8300, nearly chip for chip, it seemed that the core Marvell PXA9 processor (supposedly, but inconfirmably code-named "Tavor") is a more advanced version and in 65nm. This core processor takes a "kitchen sink" approach, by combining almost all major functionality in a single chip, Apps Processing, DBB, ABB, etc. In this sense it makes the Marvell chip (88CP930M-BGR1) similar to Qualcomm MSM chipsets, in this case somewhat similar to the MSM6280. Most of the functionality occurs on board this chip, however outside the core functionality, WLAN is provided by Texas Instruments - WL1253B (802.11 a/b/g), and more interesting is the application of a SIRF GPS (SiRFstarIII) chip, which we have not heretofore seen in handsets (PNDs only).

Also - though the display is much smaller than the iPhone's display, the total resolution is the same, making the pixel density and therefore apparent resolution more crisp, however there is no touchscreen function in the BOLD.

Here is a summary of the major components used in the RIM Blackberry Bold 9000 design:

Main PCB


  • Communication Processor - Marvell Technology - 88CP930M-BGR1


  • MCP - Samsung Semiconductor - KMYFE0B0CA-D300

Battery / Power Management

  • Power Management IC - Texas Instruments - TPS65850

Bluetooth / WLAN

  • WLAN - Texas Instruments - WL1253B
  • BlueCore4ROM - CSR - BC41B143A06-IXB-E4


  • GPS - SiRF - GSC3LTif-8072-TR

User Interface

  • USB / Mass Storage Controller - Cypress Semiconductor - CYWB0124AB-BVXI
  • Codec - Texas Instruments - TLV320AIC3106IZQE

RF Transceiver

  • RF Transceiver - Renesas - R2A60177BG
  • RF Interface IC - Dialog Semiconductor - DA9036

Power Amplifier

  • PAM - Renesas - RPF09040B


  • Display Module - Samsung - LMS265DC01 (2.65" Diagonal, 65K Color TFT, 320 x 480 Pixels)

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