Mobile Devices

Blackberry (RIM) Bold 9700 Mobile Phone Teardown

30 November 2012
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Overview / Main Features

RIM's Blackberry Bold 9700 is a UMTS/HSDPA 3G smartphone featuring a 2.44 inch color display and a full QWERTY keypad. The Bold 9700 represents a design evolution with began with the Bold 9000 model. Highlights of the improvements can be seen in the smaller and more compact physical design, replacement of the trackball navigation device to an optical trackpad, as well as a jump from 2 to 5MP integrated camera. Internally, the layout of the main PCB has been optimized for a smaller footprint with the Marvell baseband processor packaged underneath the mobile SDRAM package in a package-on-package manner.

Target Market



Per press releases, first release in Q4 2009.

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. With that said, retail pricing for a commitment-free unit can go as low as $425 at the time of writing (June 2010).

Availability - Assumed global

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 2M 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.

Cost Notes

Refer to BOM (XLS file) for detailed analysis

Main Cost Drivers (Representing ~60% of total materials cost)

$14.52- Marvell Technology - Communication Processor - PXA9xx, Integrated Baseband, PoP

$14.50 - Display Module Value Line Item - 2.44" Diagonal, 65K Color TFT, 480 x 360 Pixels

$8.90 - Camera Module Value Line Item - 3.15MP, CMOS, 1/4" Format, Auto Focus Lens

$7 - Samsung Semiconductor - KAT00F00NM-AE77 - MCP - 2Gb OneNAND Flash + 2Gb Mobile SDRAM, PoP (Estimated)

$6 -

$5.39 - AT&S - 10-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, 3+4+3, Stacked Via, Lead-Free

$4.40 - SiRF Technology - GSC3LTif-8172-TR - GPS - Single Chip, A-GPS, SiRFstarIII, ARM7 Core, 4Mbit on-chip ROM, Internal Flash, 90nm

$4.10 - MicroSD Memory Card - 2GB, w/ SD Adapter in Plastic Case

$3.59 - Mtekvision - MV9319DOB-G - Image Processor - 5MegaPixel, w/ Real-Time Image Compression & High Speed Serial Interface

$3.25 - Texas Instruments - WL1251B - WLAN - Single Chip, 802.11b/g, Wilink 4.0, 90nm

$2.10 - Texas Instruments - TPS65856 - Power Management IC

Direct Materials $118.22

Total BOM Cost $128.75

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/EMS/ODM Relationships

It is our understanding that Jabil is the primary EMS provider for RIM.

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

Based on markings, the unit was assembled in Mexico. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc.) were also sourced in Mexico.

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 module), 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 RIM Blackberry Bold 9700 has an overall component count of 998 excluding box contents. This represents a slight reduction from the 1074 count of the Bold 9000 we have analyzed previously. Overall, as with most smartphones, a complexity count nearly 1000 is par for the course.

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 Mexico.

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.

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