Acquired Electronics360

Mobile Devices

Nokia N78 Mobile Phone Teardown

28 August 2008
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

Overview / Main Features

The Nokia N78 is considered an entry level N-series phone from Nokia. With its 3.2 mega-pixel, integrated WLAN, GPS and Symbian S60 software platform, the HSDPA capable N78 slots below both the N8x and N9x models within the N-series family of premium handsets.

Intended to take full advantage of services such as Nokia Music, Maps and Share (via Ovi), the candy-bar shaped N78 has taken to an UI redesign along the same vain as the older N81 and upcoming N96 handsets. Nokia also has opted to reduce the number of physical buttons on the device and instead implemented touch technology on the perimeter of the keypad for the soft-keys, call / end buttons as well as S60 menu and input keys. Interestingly, Nokia extended the touch scroll design element on the primary 5-way D-pad navigation button onto the device which was previously only seen on the N81.

Compared to the nearly identical form of the more dated N82 (also analyzed in this comparative set of teardowns), the N78 design attempts to convey a look-and-feel more like an Apple iPod than the signature Nokia handset. Keypad numbers are not painted on but, rather, illuminated from below. During idle mode, the device remains mostly un-illuminated only for a periodic glow at the D-pad for status indication.

Overall, the handset is arguably a full-featured smartphone regardless of its entry-level status. This dual-band UMTS/HSDPA (900/2100MHz), quad-band GSM/EDGE and WiFi enabled handset runs the latest Symbian v9.3 with S60 (3rd edition) operating system which allows for high speed connectivity when uploading or downloading content from any one of the hundreds of available applications.

Nokia N78 Mobile Phone Main ImageNokia N78 Mobile Phone Main Image

Target Market

Mid to high-end 'smartphone' - handset targeting rich multi-media orientated mobile phone consumers


Per press releases, first released into select world markets in Q3 2008.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing - The N78 is available through various high-end boutique mobile phone e-tailors as well as through US based Nokia stores. Handset price ranges between $450 to about $565 at the time of writing (August 2008). However, if the phone is sold through a network carrier in select global markets, the cost may be significantly reduced due to service provider subsidies.

Availability - The Nokia N78 handset is currently available in select global markets such as Europe and Asia that support the 900/2100MHz UMTS/HSDPA frequencies. Also, the Nokia has made available the handset to other GSM coverage markets such as the US without network contracts.

Nokia N78 Mobile Phone - Main PCB TopNokia N78 Mobile Phone - Main PCB Top

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 9.1M 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. Incremental changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis.

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 168 million HSDPA handsets in 2008 global market. We further estimate 125 million units of 3 megapixel camera phones to ship in the 2008 global market. All estimates are based on a 2 year product life span assumption with an overall global market share of 38% for Nokia.

Nokia N78 Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisNokia N78 Mobile Phone Cost Analysis

Cost Notes
Main Cost Drivers Representing ~72% of total materials cost

Texas Instruments - NMP #4377480 - DBB - Digital Baseband Processor

Primary Camera Module Value Line Item - 3.2MP, 1/3.2' Format, Auto Focus Lens

Samsung Semiconductor - KAT00F00PM-S4YY - MCP - 2Gb OneNAND Flash, 768Mb Mobile DDR

Display Module Value Line Item - 2.4'' Diagonal, 16M Color TFT, 240 x 320 Pixels

Nokia - BL-6P - Battery - Li-ion, 3.7V, 1200mAh

Matsushita - WLAN Module - IEEE802.11b/g , Contains Texas Instruments WL1251 Chipset

MicroSD Memory Card - 2GB

Texas Instruments - OMAP-DM299 - Multimedia Coprocessor - OMAP-DM, Integrated High-Performance ARM Microprocessor, w/ ISP & Video Processor

4-Layer - Flex Kapton, HDI

Ibiden Beijing - 8-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, 3+2+3, Stacked Via

Texas Instruments - GPS5300 - GPS - Single-Chip, A-GPS, NaviLink 4.0

Murata - Bluetooth/FM Radio Combo Module - Contains Broadcom BCM2048 Bluetooth / FM Radio - Single Chip, V2.0+EDR, w/ FM+RDS Radio Receiver

ST Microelectronics - NMP #4380206 - RF Transceiver - Quad-Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, WCDMA 850/2100

ST Microelectronics - VS6451 - Secondary Camera Module Value Line Item - CIF+, CMOS, 1/10' Format, Fixed Lens

RF Micro Devices - NMP #4355951 - PAM - Quad-Band, GSM/GPRS/EDGE w/ Integrated SP7T Antenna Switch

ST Microelectronics - NMP #4396299 - ABB - Analog Baseband / Power Management

ST Microelectronics - NMP #4376535 - Power Management - Battery Charger IC

Texas Instruments - TLV320DAC33IZQCR - DAC - Stereo Audio

Silicon Laboratories - Si4713 - FM Radio Transmitter - 76-108 MHz, w/ Receive Power Scan

Keypad Assembly - Injection Molded Plastic Keys On Silicone Rubber Substrate, Silver Painted, Clear Coat

ST Microelectronics - EMIF07-LCD02F3 - ESD/EMI Protect - 7-Line Filter, for LCD & Camera (Qty:6)

LED - White, Right Angle (Qty:10)

RF Micro Devices - NMP #4355898 - PAM - Dual-Band, WCDMA/HSDPA 836.5/1950MHz

Display Window - Clear Injection Molded Polycarbonate, Silkscreened

Epson - S1D13747B00B20B - CPU Interface Converter - Parallel RGB / 3-Wire Serial to 8-bit i80 CPU

Enclosure, Main, Battery Cover - Injection Molded ABS Polycarbonate, Silkscreened, Clear Coat

Materials and Manufacturing $128.22

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

According to iSuppli's global OEM Manufacturing and Design Analysis, Mobile Handsets Q1 2008 - Nokia conducts much of the final assembly in-house throughout their various global operations while utilizing EMS providers to source mobile handset modules and sub-assemblies. iSuppli estimates that nearly 60% of the sub-assemblies in handsets produced in 2007 were produced by their contract manufacturers.

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. iSuppli estimates that Nokia used 5 EMS providers in 2007 with Foxconn, Elcoteq and Jabil making up roughly 20% of Nokia's overall manufacturing capacity.

Nokia N78 Mobile Phone - Main PCB BottomNokia N78 Mobile Phone - Main PCB Bottom

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

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

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 the LCD), 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. 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

Nokias, as a general rule, have fewer discrete mechanical and electronic components, for the same amount of functionality than their competitors. Furthermore, Nokia have a very modular approach to designs which make them simpler to manufacture, improving production cycle times and ease of re-work. The Nokia N780 has a component count of 714 (excluding box contents), of which, 168 are mechanical in nature. This device complexity is on par with other 3.5G handsets in this comparative analysis.

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 Europe.

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.

Nokia N78 Mobile Phone - Enclosure DisassemblyNokia N78 Mobile Phone - Enclosure Disassembly

Design Notes

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Nokia N78 design:

Main PCB

Digital Baseband

Digital Baseband Processor - Texas Instruments - NMP #4377480

Analog Baseband / Power Management

ABB - ST Microelectronics - NMP #4396299

Power Management - Battery Charger IC - ST Microelectronics - NMP #4376535


Multimedia Coprocessor - Texas Instruments - OMAP-DM299


Flash NAND & Mobile DDR - Samsung Semiconductor - KAT00F00PM-S4YY

RF Transceiver

RF Transceiver - ST Microelectronics - NMP #4380206

Power Amplifier

PAM - RF Micro Devices - NMP #4355898

PAM - RF Micro Devices - NMP #4355951

User Interface

WLAN -Texas Instruments - WL1251BLYFBR

Bluetooth / FM Radio ?Broadcom - BCM2048KUBG

CPU Interface Converter ?Epson - S1D13747B00B20B

DAC - Texas Instruments - TLV320DAC33IZQCR

USB On-the-Go Transceiver - NXP Semiconductors - ISP1504A1ET

Microcontroller ?Atmel - ATmega88V-10MU


GPS -Texas Instruments - GPS5300


Image Sensor

3.2MP, CMOS - Toshiba Semiconductor - ET8EE6-AS


Display Module - 2.4' Diagonal, 16M Color TFT, 240 x 320 Pixels

Nokia N78 Mobile Phone - Box ContentsNokia N78 Mobile Phone - Box Contents

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