Mobile Devices

SonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone Teardown

18 November 2008
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Overview / Main Features

After nearly a decade pioneering in the smartphone space with unique offerings based on the Symbian OS platform and the UIQ user interface (such as the P1i previously analyzed by iSuppli), Sony Ericsson made a radical departure in their smartphone strategy and introduced their first Windows-powered (Mobile 6.1) device called the Xperia X1. This arc-slider, full QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen handset differentiates from other Windows Mobile devices on the market with the implementing of what Sony Ericsson refers to as a "panels based navigation or UI layer. These ""panels" are analogous to work-spaces on computer workstations whereby users can select one of 9 pre-defined desktop-like environments. Each panel may contain widgets that allow easy access to media or pre-defined for work-related activities like email or web browsing. Still others can be configured for gaming or other user customizable activities. An elegant and graphical implementation of the panels UI creates an entirely new user experience - so much so that the most pedestrian of users would likely not realize that the underlying operating system is actually Microsoft's Windows Mobile.

From a hardware perspective, the Xperia X1 again, sets itself apart from previous Sony Ericsson handsets as their first Qualcomm design. Since the device was develop and manufactured with the help of HTC (Sony Ericsson's EMS provider on the Xperia X1), it is not hard to see the reason for the change. Electronically, the Xperia shares much of the design DNA from other HTC devices such as the HTC Touch Dual and Tilt which both contained the Qualcomm MSM7200 baseband. The Xperia X1's Qualcomm MSM7200A baseband chip features slightly faster applications and microprocessor (ARM11 and ARM9 based respectively which is near identical design to the HTC Diamond).

Overall, the tri-band UMTS / quad-band GSM handset features a 3-inch touch (4-wire resistive) touchscreen and a 3 MP autofocus primary camera. As with most smartphones in its class, the Xperia also boast WLAN connectivity, on-board GPS and expandable memory.

SonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone Main Image
Target Market

Business professionals as well as high-end smartphone consumers.


Per our understanding, first release in Europe on October 24th, 2008.

SonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone - Main PCB TopSonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone - Main PCB Top
SonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone - Main PCB Top
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, the Xperia X1 is offered free by carriers such as Vodafone and O2 with participating service contracts. However, if a subscriber opts for the lowest tier or shortest term of service, the handset would cost $400 to $650. A cursory review of boutique online handset resellers reveal that an unlocked Xperia X1 lists for upwards of $1000.


- At the time of writing (Nov. 2008), the Xperia X1 is only available in select European markets, specifically offered by network operators Vodafone and O2. However, multiple model configurations of the Xperia X1 will allow it be work in the North American and Asian markets.

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 1.7M 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.

SonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone - Main PCB BottomSonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone - Main PCB Bottom
SonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone - Main PCB Bottom
iSuppli's Design Forecast Tool (DFT) and Market Shares

As part of iSuppli's 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.

iSuppli estimates unit shipments of 111 million 3 Megapixel camera phone in 2008 global market. We further estimate a global volume of 37 million Windows Mobile smartphones for the same time period. All estimates are based on a 2 year product life span assumption with an overall global market share of 9% for Sony Ericsson.

Top Cost Drivers (Representing ~69% of Direct Materials Costs)

Qualcomm - MSM7200A - Baseband Processor - Single Chip, Quad-Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA 7.2Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbps, GPS, Integrated 528MHz ARM11 Applications Processor & 256MHz ARM9 Microprocessor

Display Module - 3.0' Diagonal, 65K Color TFT, 800 x 480 Pixels

Micron Technology - MT29C4G48MAPLCJA-75ITQS - MCP - 4Gb NAND Flash + 2Gb Primary Camera Module - 3.1MP, CMOS, 1/3.2' Format, Auto Focus Lens

Touchscreen Overlay - 4-Wire Resistive, w/ Flex PCB

Mobile SDRAM (Based on SE White Paper)

Sychip - WLAN / Bluetooth Module - 802.11b/g, Bluetooth V2.0+EDR

Battery - Li-Polymer, 3.6V, 1500mAh

Epson - S1D13774 - LCD Controller - Integrated 1280KBytes DRAM, WVGA

Qualcomm - MXU6219 - RF Transceiver - Quad-Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Tri-Band WCDMA, HSDPA/HSUPA

Qualcomm - PM7540 - Power Management IC - w/ Integrated USB Transceiver

SonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone - Enclosure DisassemblySonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone - Enclosure Disassembly
SonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone - Enclosure Disassembly
Materials and Manufacturing $162.08

SonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisSonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone Cost Analysis
SonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone Cost Analysis
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

Per iSuppli's ""Global OEM Manufacturing and Design Analysis (GOMDA) - Mobile Handsets Q1 2008", we estimate that SonyEricsson outsources approximately 65% of its production to EMS providers such as Flextronics and Foxconn, as well as ODMs like Arima and Chi Mei Communications.

In addition to these EMS providers, Sony Ericsson engaged with Taiwan-based HTC in 2007 specifically for the Xperia X1 smartphone, leveraging HTC's expertise in integrating Windows Mobile onto a smartphone platform.

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

Based on markings, the unit was assembled in Taiwan. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc.) were sourced in lower cost regions within Asia.

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 pin-count of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

As a full featured smartphone, we expected the Xperia X1 to top our charts in terms of sheer component diversity and overall complexity. To this end, we found that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 has a component count of 1143 (excluding box contents), of which, 275 are mechanical in nature. This is very comparable to the Apple iPhone which has a component count of 1116 [however, the iPhone lacks any of the mechanicals of the X1 sliding keyboard]. When compared to the HTC Diamond (component count of 1034), which the Xperia shares a common design lineage, the complexity level is nearly on par with exceptions of mechanical parts. In general, HTC built handsets represent some of the highest component count handset we have encountered and the Xperia X1 is no exception.

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 Taiwan.

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

The design for the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 revolves around the core Qualcomm baseband processor MSM7200A (7.2Mbps HSDPA / 5.76Mbps HSUPA). The dual processor (ARM 11 & 9 cores) with integrated DDR chip package handles both the baseband functionalities and serves as the primary applications processor for the device. This is a radical departure from the previous generation NXP / TI smartphone designs from Sony Ericsson such as the P1i. Much of the design changes came as a necessity since Sony Ericsson moved from a Symbian based OS platform to that of Windows Mobile 6.1.

Supporting the MSM7200A are complimentary Qualcomm solutions featuring the PM7540 power management solution and MXU6219 RF transceivers. Rounding out the major ICs, the Texas Instruments occupy both the WLAN and Bluetooth module chip slots while Epson was sourced for the LCD controller functionality.

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 design:

Main PCB


  • Baseband Processor - Qualcomm - MSM7200A

User Interface

  • LCD Controller - Epson - S1D13774

Battery / Power Management

  • Power Management IC - Qualcomm - PM7540


  • MCP - Micron Technology - MT29C4G48MAPLCJA-75ITQS

WLAN / Bluetooth Module

  • WLAN Baseband - Texas Instruments - WL1251BLYFBR
  • Bluetooth / FM Radio - Texas Instruments - BRF6350BL

RF Transceivers

  • RF Transceiver - Qualcomm - MXU6219


  • Display Module - 3.0' Diagonal, 65K Color TFT, 800 x 480 Pixels


SonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone - Box ContentsSonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone - Box Contents
SonyEricsson Xperia X1 Mobile Phone - Box Contents

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