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Mobile Devices

Sharp Aquos si SH-01E Mobile Handset Teardown

05 February 2013
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

IHS Insight Perspective

Aquos is branded series name created by Sharp for brand awareness, and it's shared by variant products that Sharp is offering including televisions, and mobile phones. This Sharp Aquos si SH-01E was announced by NTT Docomo in August, 2012 and was released in October of 2012.

Sharp Aquos si SH-01E Mobile Handset Main ImageSharp Aquos si SH-01E Mobile Handset Main Image

Feature Significance

The Sharp Aquos Phone si SH-01E is an Android 4.0 smartphone with a 4.1 diagonal TFT display, a resolution of qHD (960 x 540) and a touch interface. It comes with a 12MP BSI camera Module, a 16GB eMMC NAND flash built-in, a 2GB microSD memory card, 1GB RAM, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0 and a 1660mAh battery. The battery delivers up to 7.5 hours of talking time and about 270 hours of standby time.

Design Significance

This Sharp SH-01E seems almost like a Qualcomm reference design that demonstrates where Qualcomm and Intel are both headed - towards an oligopolistic domination of the mobile market. This is because few other suppliers will be able to compete with the breadth of product that both can offer as 'one stop shops' for phone OEMs or at the advanced geometries that this design features (28nm for the MSM8960). This phone is the 2nd phone we seen (after HTC One X ATT version) that shows Qualcomm is leveraging their breadth into areas of feature integration where we did not see before (audio codec IC (WCD9310), and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Combo chip (WCN3660) specifically), meaning Qualcomm is growing their share of the IC content on a per phone basis, but also in simple dollars and cents. Furthermore, Qualcomm still maintains in this design, all of the slots they usually dominate when a Qualcomm core processor is chosen. These 'defacto' companion ICs from Qualcomm include, in this case, the power management slots (PM8921), and RF Transceiver slots (RTR8601).

Sharp Aquos si SH-01E Mobile Handset - Main PCB TopSharp Aquos si SH-01E Mobile Handset - Main PCB Top

Target Market

High-end smartphone market


October, 2012 via NTT Docomo

Sharp Aquos si SH-01E Mobile Handset - Main PCB BottomSharp Aquos si SH-01E Mobile Handset - Main PCB Bottom

Pricing and Availability

~$725 USD

This phone is selling for 65310 yen (~$725 USD) @ NTT Docomo online shop for cash purchase. NTT is also offering a finance plan of 1995 yen (~$22 USD) per month for 24 months with a deposit of 17430 yen (~$195 USD).


Volume Estimations

600,000 Total Units
1 Total Years

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed an Annual Production Volume of 600000 units and a Product Lifetime Volume of 1 year(s).

Teardown volume and 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.

Sharp Aquos si SH-01E Mobile Handset - Disassembly View 1Sharp Aquos si SH-01E Mobile Handset - Disassembly View 1

Market Performance

Per IHS iSuppli's research, smartphones are becoming the defining product that drives sales for handset OEMs, especially as entry-level and feature-phones fall by the wayside. In 2011, smart phones accounted for 33% of the 1.4 billion legal handsets sold; and by 2015 smartphones will grow to 60% of the total market. The future of the wireless handset industry will be shaped by trends in the smartphone segment.

Sharp Aquos si SH-01E Mobile Handset Cost AnalysisSharp Aquos si SH-01E Mobile Handset Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Total BOM: $189.47
Top Cost Drivers below: $138.01
% of Total BOM 74%

Main Cost Drivers below

Qualcomm MSM8960 Apps / Baseband Processor - Multi-Mode, Multi-Band, GSM/CDMA/EVDO RevB/HSPA+/LTE, Dual-Core CPU, 1.5-1.7GHz / Core, Adreno 225 GPU, 28nm, PoP- (Qty: 1)
Sharp Display Module - 4.1' Diagonal, 16.7M Color IPS TFT, 540x960 Pixels, 93.8um x 93.8um Pixel Size, 50.6mm x 90.0mm Viewable Area- (Qty: 1)
Primary Camera Module - 12.1MP, BSI CMOS, 1/3.2' Format, Auto Focus Lens- (Qty: 1)
Wintek Display Window / Touchscreen Module - 4.1'Capacitive, ITO Film over Tempered Glass, Painted, Printed, w/ Integral Flex PCB- (Qty: 1)
Toshiba Semiconductor THGBM5G7A2JBAIR Flash - eMMC NAND, 16GB, MLC- (Qty: 1)
Samsung Semiconductor K3PE7E700M-XGC2 SDRAM - Mobile DDR2, 1GB, PoP- (Qty: 1)
Qualcomm RTR8601 RF Transceiver - Multi-Mode, Multi-Band, GSM/WCDMA/LTE, GPS- (Qty: 1)
CMK 8-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, Any Layer Stacked Via, Lead-Free- (Qty: 1)
Qualcomm PM8921 Power Management IC- (Qty: 1)
Battery - Li-ion, 3.7V, 1660mAh- (Qty: 1)

Not Included in 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.

We do provide an Excel tab 'Overall Costs' where a user can enter their known pre and post production costs to build a per unit cost reflective of theirs actual expenditures.

Manufacturing Notes

Sharp build their own phones in their own facilities and do not use outside EMS providers. Sharp builds product in-house. Products typically start their lifespan being built in Japan, then ultimately transition to facilities in China for cost optimization purposes.

Country of Origin

For the purposes of this analysis, we are assuming the following country(ies) of origin for each level of assembly, based on a combination of 'Made In' markings, and/or assumptions based on our knowledge of such equipment.

Box Contents - China
Camera Assembly - China
Display / Touchscreen - China
Main PCB - China
Misc Interface PCB Assemblies - China
Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly - 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 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.

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 Complexity

Component counts by assembly and the number of assembly are indicators of design complexity and efficiency.

Component Qty: 702 - Main PCB
Component Qty: 10 - Display / Touchscreen
Component Qty: 37 - Camera Assembly
Component Qty: 19 - Box Contents
Component Qty: 73 - Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly
Component Qty: 37 - Misc Interface PCB Assemblies
Component Qty: 878 - Grand Total

For an LTE design, the Sharp SH-01E demonstrates how second generation designs have done a great job of integration vs. first generation LTE designs we have torn down over the last two years. This is evidenced pretty clearly in the component count, which, in this case, at 860 components (not including box contents), is a big improvement over our historical average closer to 1500 components. Having said that we still see first gen LTE designs, and this may be carryover, or an attachment to internally developed sources (Samsung and Motorola Mobility come to mind) where both companies have home grown solutions to LTE connectivity, and possibly an aversion to becoming over leveraged with Qualcomm. Nonetheless the Sharp SH-01E really streamlines the functionality by keeping the component counts low.

Furthermore, by going with a turnkey solution like this, Sharp likely get a lot of design support on such devices which improves their time to market and minimizes man-hours spent internally spinning the design.

Design Notes

As mentioned in the overview section -this phone leverages a Qualcomm turnkey solution and Qualcomm dominates all of the highest levels fo IC functionality within the design. At it's core the Sharp SH-01E features the MSM8960, which is built in 28nm geometry. This is a highly integrated chip that represents a more integrated second generation LTE solution that also supports legacy HSPA+ and EvDO functionality all in one chip. That's a big change from the first gen LTE solutions we saw where the LTE section was almost like an entirely discrete RF/PA section tacked on to a legacy HSPA+ or EvDO design. With the right frequuency band support in the RF/PA section, this chip could conceivably supprot a single 'one design for all markets' solution. But therein lies the rub: the number of different LTE frequencies that would need to be supported makes that goal curently impractical for manufacturers.

Furthermore, this phone shows that Qualcomm is leveraging their breadth into areas of feature integration where we have never seen them before (audio codec IC (WCD9310), and WiFi/Bluetooth Combo chip (WCN3660) specifically), meaning Qualcomm is growing their share of the IC content on a per phone basis, but also in simple dollars and cents. Furthermore, Qualcomm still maintains in this design, all of the slots they usually dominate when a Qualcomm core processor is chosen. These 'defacto' companion ICs from Qualcomm include, in this case, the power management slots (PM8921), and RF Transceiver slots (RTR8600).

Sharp Aquos si SH-01E Mobile Handset - Box ContentsSharp Aquos si SH-01E Mobile Handset - Box Contents

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