Mobile Devices

SonyEricsson W350a Mobile Phone Teardown

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

Overview / Main Features

The Sony Ericsson W350a is an entry level tri-band GSM/EDGE music oriented handset designed for the North American market. The 10mm thick phone comes with a unique flip out keypad whereby the flip cover doubles as a punch-through controller for music functionality when closed.

The W350a features Sony Walkman 2.0 music player with Track ID music recognition software. The Sony Ericsson comes equipped with a 176x220 pixel display with 262K color, 1.3MP camera, USB connectivity, Memory Stick M2 and Bluetooth 2.0.

SonyEricsson W350a Mobile Phone Main ImageSonyEricsson W350a Mobile Phone Main Image
Target Market

Mainstream mobile phone consumers


Per press releases, first release during CES 2008 on January 6th, 2008.

SonyEricsson W350a Mobile Phone - Main PCB TopSonyEricsson W350a Mobile Phone - Main PCB Top
Pricing and Availability

Pricing - At the time of writing (Oct 2008), the Sony Ericsson W350a is offered by AT&T for $229.99 without a contract or free with 2 year service contract with an online purchase and activation.

Availability - The W350a variant is available exclusively from AT&T (US). A generic version (W350) with 900/1800/1900 MHz GSM radios is available in select market such as Europe.

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 2.5M 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 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 W350a Mobile Phone - Main PCB BottomSonyEricsson W350a 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 323M GSM/EDGE handsets in 2008 global market. We further estimate 295M units of 1MP camera phone shipment in 2008 global market. For the Sony Ericsson device specifically, iSuppli applied volume estimates based on a 2 year product life span assumption along with the corresponding global market share percentage for the manufacturer.

SonyEricsson W350a Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisSonyEricsson W350a Mobile Phone Cost Analysis
Cost Notes Main Cost Drivers Representing ~67% of Direct Materials Costs

OM6370EL1 - ST-NXP Wireless - DBB - Digital Baseband & Applications Processor

PF38F5060M0Y0CF - Numonyx - MCP - 512Mb NOR Flash + 128Mb PSRAM, 1.8V

Display Module Value Line Item - 1.9' Diagonal, 262K Color TFT, 176 x 220 Pixels

Camera Module Assembly Line Item - 1.3MP, Fixed Lens

BST-37 - Sony Ericsson - Battery - Li-Polymer, 3.6V, 900mAh

OM6194HN - ST-NXP Wireless - RF Transceiver - GSM/GPRS/EDGE

STLC2592 - ST Microelectronics - Bluetooth / FM Radio - Single Chip, V2.1+EDR, w/ FM Radio Receiver

2-Layer - Flex Kapton, w/ Stiffener (Qty:4)

Unimicron - 12-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, 3+6+3, Lead-Free, Halogen-Free

OM3750HN - ST-NXP Wireless - ABB - Analog Baseband / Power Management

Materials and Manufacturing $64.59

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.

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

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

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.

SonyEricsson W350a Mobile Phone - Enclosure DisassemblySonyEricsson W350a Mobile Phone - Enclosure Disassembly

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The SonyEricsson W350a features an 'average' component count of 591 total components (excluding box contents). This component count puts the W350a well within the norms of average component counts for similarly featured phones. Furthermore, mechanically, though the phone features the flip-down keypad cover, this is a very simple mechanical addition to the device which adds only minimal complexity - otherwise the phone seems simple mechanically, as one would assume from 'candybar' form factor phone.

One side note - the PCB on this phone features an unusually high layer count (12-layer PCB!). This is pretty rare these days in phones, with most featuring 6 and 8 layer boards which are typically less expensive, but more spread out. Because of size constraints, the PCB here had to 'go vertical' in the design, hence the high layer count, but small footprint of the board. High layer count boards can be quite expensive as yields tend to drop significantly, driving costs up.

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 China.

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 core design of the SonyEricsson W350a is based on ST-NXP Wireless joint-venture chipsets (actually all of the parts seem to indicate NXP or Philips in their labeling or die labeling) which are relatively new to us - not much data could be found with details on these chips. In fact, to date most of the DBB / ABB chipsets seen in previous SonyEricsson designs were Texas Instruments (and more recently ST Micro). Typically, NXP would only be found in the RF section of their designs. This represents a potential shift in design alignment for SonyEricsson, though it is unlikely 'across the board' it may be an alliance that SonyEricsson leverages for certain feature ranges of phones.

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Sony Ericsson W350a design:

Main PCB

Digital Baseband

  • Digital Baseband & Applications Processor - ST-NXP Wireless - OM6370EL1

ABB / Power Management

  • Analog Baseband / Power Management - ST-NXP Wireless - OM3750HN

RF Transceiver

  • RF Transceiver - ST-NXP Wireless - OM6194HN


  • MCP - 512Mb NOR Flash + 128Mb PSRAM - Numonyx - PF38F5060M0Y0CF

User Interface

  • Bluetooth / FM Radio - ST Microelectronics - STLC2592

Power Amplifier

  • PAM -RF Micro Devices - RF3159


  • Display Module - 1.9' Diagonal, 262K Color TFT, 176 x 220 Pixels


SonyEricsson W350a Mobile Phone - Box ContentsSonyEricsson W350a Mobile Phone - Box Contents

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