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Mobile Devices

Nokia N8 Mobile Handset Teardown

30 November 2012

Overview / Main Features

After being caught flat-footed with their previous flagship device (N97) in the era of iPhones and Android handsets, Nokia regrouped their efforts to bring out a viable and competitive smartphone for 2010. The result of which was the Nokia N8, a 3.5-inch AMOLED touchscreen smartphone that features a whopping 12 MP resolution onboard camera. The N8 is also significant because it is Nokia's first Symbian^3 device representing a fairly monumental update from the older Symbian S60 5th edition or Symbian^2 platform on the older N97 platform.

Nokia N8 Mobile Handset - Device View 1Nokia N8 Mobile Handset - Device View 1
With the N8, Nokia finally brought a true multi-touch user interface to their flagship smartphone line of handsets to keep it on par with all other major smartphone manufacturers. Also, we can see in the construction of the N8 that Nokia has decidedly revamped their component selections by using more costly components such as the anodized aluminum enclosure, capacitive touch overlay, dedicated Broadcom GPU, HDMI output and 16GB of onboard eMMC memory for storage. In fact, the N8 carries the most expensive BOM cost of any Nokia phone (with exception of the N900) that we have come across, demonstrating that the Finnish handset maker is finally breaking out of their mode of operation and taking risks to compete with the likes of Apple, Samsung and Motorola in the high end of the mobile handset space.

Nokia N8 Mobile Handset - Main PCB TopNokia N8 Mobile Handset - Main PCB Top

Overall, the N8 is a penta-band UMTS / quad-band GSM world phone in a slightly narrow format giving the 3.5 inch AMOLED screen a16:9 aspect ratio. Internally, we see that Nokia kept the familiar Texas Instruments digital baseband processor at the core of the smartphone running at 680MHz however, with the implementation of Symbian^3, graphically intensive computations can now be off loaded to the dedicated and discrete GPU provided by Broadcom. The 12MP camera module is the largest we have come across on a mass market phone and the image sensor in the N8 is also the largest we encountered registering in at a 1/1.83 format. As a media centric device, Nokia has opted to include onboard storage. A 16GB eMMC was employed to provide the necessary flash memory storage. The N8 is also the first time we have seen Nokia implement a non-user accessible battery solution in a mobile handset - a move likely more a way to accommodate the industrial design rather than to mimic the design cues of Apple.

Nokia N8 Mobile Handset - Main PCB BottomNokia N8 Mobile Handset - Main PCB Bottom
Target Market

High end smartphones


October 2010

Pricing and Availability

Pricing - The Nokia N8 is available unsubsidized from for approximately $550. This price point is consistent with past flagship handsets from Nokia. Outside of the US, the N8 would likely be subsidized along with a service contract.

Availability - Global (assumed)

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have applied a lifetime production volume of approximately 5M 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.

Nokia N8 Mobile Handset - Display ModuleNokia N8 Mobile Handset - Display Module
Cost Notes

Refer to BOM (XLS file) for detailed analysis

Main Cost Drivers (~85% of Total Materials Cost)

$28.50 - Primary Camera Module Value Line Item - 12.1MP, CMOS, 1/1.83" Format, Auto Focus Lens w/ Carl Zeiss Optics

$28 - Toshiba Semiconductor - THGBM1G7D4FBA13 - Flash - eMMC NAND, 16GB, MLC

$27.50 - Samsung Mobile Display - AMS347FF01-0 - Display Module Value Line Item - 3.5" Diagonal, 16.7M Color AMOLED, 360x640 Pixels

$13.22 - 10-Layer - Rigid/Flex Hybrid, HDI, RCF/FR4/Kapton, 3+1+2+1+3, Lead-Free

$11.70 - Touchscreen Assembly / Display Window - 3.5" Diagonal, Capacitive, Contains Synaptics T1021A Touchscreen Controller, w/ Flex PCB & Board-to-Board Connector

$10.75 - Samsung Semiconductor - K5W4G2GACA-AL54 - MCP - 4Gb OneNAND Flash + 2Gb Mobile DDR, PoP

$10.43 - Broadcom - BCM2727IFBG - Mobile Multimedia Processor - HD 720p, H.264 Encoder & Decoder, HDMI 1.3a w/ HDCP

$10.01 - Texas Instruments - NMP #4377520 - DBB - Digital Baseband Processor, PoP

$7.85 - Murata - Bluetooth / WLAN Module Value Line Item - WLAN IEEE802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth V3.0

$2.90 - BL-4D - Battery - Li-Ion, 3.7V, 1200mAh

$2.80 - Renesas - PAM - Dual Mode, EDGE / WCDMA, 850/900/1700/1800/1900/2100

$2.75 - Texas Instruments - NMP #4376057 - ABB - Analog Baseband / Power Management

$2.60 - Epcos - D1053 - FEM - Quad-Band GSM & Tri-Band WCDMA Antenna Switch, 4 GSM & WCDMA SAW Filters, 3 WCDMA Duplexers

$2.53 - ST-Ericsson - NMP #4380044 - RF Transceiver - Quad-Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Tri-Band WCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA

$2.15 - AC-15E - Charger - 5V, 0.8A, w/ Velcro Cord Wrap

$1.85 - Camera Flash Module - Xenon Strobe Tube, w/ IR Emitter & Sensor, Photoflash Capacitor, & Clear Polycarbonate Cover

Direct Materials $196.44

Direct Materials + Manufacturing$205.81

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

OEM/ODM/EMS Relationships / Manufacturing

Nokia maintains worldwide manufacturing operations in North America (Mexico), South America (Brazil), Asia Pacific region (Korea), Greater China, India and 4 other locations in both Eastern and Western Europe. Typically, first production runs of their flagship handset such as the N8 will be out of their Finnish facilities. Furthermore, iSuppli estimates that Nokia used 6 ODMs & EMS providers in 2008 with Foxconn, Elcoteq and Jabil making up roughly 15% of Nokia's overall manufacturing capacity.

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

Based on the level of sophistication and function of the device, we made the assumption that the unit was assembled in Finland. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc.) were also sourced in Finland.

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.

Nokia N8 Mobile Handset - Primary Camera Module Exploded ViewNokia N8 Mobile Handset - Primary Camera Module Exploded View
Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The Nokia N8 under analysis here has an overall component count of 718 (excluding box contents), of which, 570 reside on the main PCB. Nokia tends to have a lower component count that most other manufacturers in any category and this high end segment N8 is no exception. Competitive devices in this space can easily reach a complexity level of 1000 parts or more, especially if there are more complex flip / slide / swivel industrial designs involved.

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 Finland.

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

In keeping with previous generation designs, Nokia relies heavily on the single chip TI baseband processor for much of the processing workload. In the case of the N8, Nokia uses a slightly updated NMP#4377520 which runs at 680MHz. In comparison to the gigahertz apps processor solutions found in iPhone and some Android devices, the N8's baseband processor seems anemic. However, Nokia has a trick lined up its sleeve with the Broadcom 2727 GPU. By taking advantage of the new OS architecture that takes advantage of processing efficiencies of GPUs, Nokia has added the discrete solution to give the handset a graphical computing boost. Also, the Broadcom 2727 doubles as a HDMI transmitter solution for the HDMI output on the device.

Aside from the inclusion of the Broadcom GPU solution, the Nokia N8 design relies heavily on TI solutions in both DBB and ABB as well as in GPS and WLAN functions. ST-Ericsson provides both the power management solution as well as RF transceiver. Again, Nokia employs Renesas power amp module, but this time, in dual modes supporting quad-band GSM and penta-band UMTS radios.

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Nokia N8 Handset design:


  • Primary Camera - 12.1MP, CMOS, 1/1.83" Format, Auto Focus Lens w/ Carl Zeiss Optics


  • Display Module - Samsung Mobile Display - AMS347FF01-0, 3.5" Diagonal, 16.7M Color AMOLED, 360x640 Pixels

Main PCB

Baseband / Power Management

  • Digital Baseband Processor - Texas Instruments - NMP #4377520
  • Analog Baseband / Power Management - Texas Instruments - NMP #4376057
  • Power Management IC - ST-Ericsson - NMP #80050


  • RF Transceiver - ST-Ericsson - NMP #4380044
  • PAM - Renesas


  • Bluetooth/FM/WLAN - Texas Instruments - WL1271A
  • GPS - Texas Instruments - GPS5350
  • Transmit Module - TriQuint Semiconductor - TQM679002

User Interface

  • Mobile Multimedia Processor - Broadcom - BCM2727IFBG
  • USB OTG Transceiver - ST-Ericsson - ISP1707Axx
  • Electronic Compass - AKM Semiconductor - AK8974
  • Accelerometer - ST Microelectronics - LIS302DL

Nokia N8 Mobile Handset - Box ContentsNokia N8 Mobile Handset - Box Contents

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