Mobile Devices

Nokia 6230i Mobile Phone Teardown

15 July 2005
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Main Features

Candy-bar style phone with 1.3 Megapixel CMOS camera, 208x208-pixel, 65k color, 1.7" diagonal display, Bluetooth and IrDA connectivity, FM stereo radio, MMC memory card slot.

Nokia 6230i Mobile Phone Main ImageNokia 6230i Mobile Phone Main Image


The Nokia 6230i is an upgrade of the popular and successful 6230 model with several notable enhancements, particularly in the imaging, both camera and display. Where the 6230 featured a VGA camera and a 128x128-pixel display, the 6230i sports a 1.3-Megapixel camera and a 208x208-pixel display. Additionally, the 6230i features more user memory than the original model.

Aesthetically, very little has changed with the upgrade. The 6230i retains the simple, no-frills appearance of the 6230, though there is the addition of a new button in the center of the larger navigation button. This is apparently in response to user compaints that the 6230 button presented some difficulties.

Though Nokia is currently in the process of launching a host of new products, the 6230i represents a continuation of the status quo, rather than a leap into new territory.

The 6230i is aimed primarily at the European market, and does not appear to be part of the current U.S. product lineup. It is assumed that this unit will be offered by service providers as a mid-range, subsidized or partially-subsidized phone, for users who desire more than the most basic feature set but do not require the bells and whistles of a PDA or smartphone.

As the 'sweet-spot' in camera-phone image resolution is currently moving up from VGA to the 1- to 1.3 Megapixel range, the evolution from the 6230 to the 6230i is a very literal manifestation of this trend. As costs of image sensors on the supply side continue to erode, and as users expect and/or demand better quality than yesterday's VGA standard, today's de facto standard is squarely in the 1 Megapixel range.

The same is true with the display as well. While the overall diagonal size of the display is not significantly larger than the earlier 6230 (1.7" vs. 1.5"), the pixel size has dramatically decreased, resulting in a much greater resolution; 208x208 vs. 128x128 pixels. Again, this is representative of an evolution in the perceived 'standard'; as users become accustomed to better performance and the baseline trends upward, products such as the 6230/6230i series which are aimed squarely in the middle of the market spectrum must adapt accordingly.

The 6230i also features more available user memory than it's predecessor; where the previous model touted up to 6MB of memory, the 6230i boasts 32MB (It should be noted that the physical on-board SDRAM density has actually increased from 64MB to 128MB. It is assumed that the additional 64MB also includes increased memory for program and feature functionality.)

By concentrating the feature set of the 6230i on only the most popular and desired items - a passable (better-than-VGA) camera, a high quality display, FM stereo radio, and a host of connectivity/data transfer options (bluetooth, IrDA, MMC memory) - Nokia is assured of winning a large swath f the mid-range market with the 6230i.

Function / Performance

As noted above, the 6230i retains the same user-friendly functionality of the 6230, with the addition of a separate 'confirmation' button in the center of the nav button. With its absence of superfluous buttons and its mechanical simplicity, the 6230i presents a very intuitive and unassuming interface, and the average user will appreciate the lack of orientation required.

Nokia 6230i Mobile Phone - Phone Front - Front Enclosure and Keypad PCB RemovedNokia 6230i Mobile Phone - Phone Front - Front Enclosure and Keypad PCB Removed

Cost Notes

Nokia 6230i Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisNokia 6230i Mobile Phone Cost Analysis

Main Cost Drivers representing 60% of total manufacturing cost


Baseband Devices




(NOR Flash)

(MMC Card)


(NAND Flash)


Nokia 6230i Mobile Phone - Main PCB Bottom - Shielding In PlaceNokia 6230i Mobile Phone - Main PCB Bottom - Shielding In Place

Manufacturing Notes

The unit that we have analyzed indicates Hungary as the country of origin. As this is a relatively low-cost manufacturing region, we have assumed that all levels of manufacturing - from PC board stuffing through final assembly - were performed here. Total production volume assumption is 9M units over two years. It sohould be noted that at such a high level of production volume, amortized costs such as tooling and set-ups contribute a very small percentage of the total manufacturing cost.

Design Notes

The 6230i continues the Nokia tradition of using semi-custom ASIC's for the core chipset, designed by Nokia Mobile Platforms and fab'd by the major players such as Texas Instruments and ST Microelectronics. In fact, it appears that most of the devices found in the 6230i are the same or similar to those used not only in the 6230 predecessor, but in other Nokia phones as well. As such, the 6230i represents Nokia's reliance on proven, tried-and-true silicon solutions for its mainstream, middle-market products.


DBB: Nokia ASIC (Texas Instruments NMP# 4375107)

(Same chip used in Nokia 6230)

ABB: Nokia ASIC (ST Microelectronics NMP#4376371)

(Same chip used in Nokia 3220)


NAND Flash: Samsung Semiconductor KEE00D00CM

(Same chip used in Nokia 7600)

NOR Flash: Samsung Semiconductor K8S2815ETA

SDRAM: Samsung Semiconductor K4M28163PF

(Similar chip used in Nokia 6600)


PA Module: Nokia ASIC (RF Micro Devices NMP# 4355801)

(Similar to chip used in Nokia 6230)

RF Transceiver - GSM Tri-Band: Nokia ASIC (ST Microelectronics NMP#4380037)

(Similar to chip used in 6230)

User Interface

Single Chip Bluetooth IC: ST Microelectronics TJ94C13

FM Radio Chip: Philips Semiconductor TEA5767

(Same chip used in K700i and 6230)

Nokia 6230i Mobile Phone - Phone Front - Front Enclosure RemovedNokia 6230i Mobile Phone - Phone Front - Front Enclosure Removed

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