Mobile Devices

Siemens CX-65 Mobile Phone Teardown

28 October 2011
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Main Features - Tri-band GSM candybar-style phone with 2.1-inch 65K color TFT display, VGA/CMOS camera with 5x digital zoom, 40-note polyphonic ringtones, IrDA and USB connectivity.

Marketing / positioning - The CX65 appears to fall squarely in the midrange of the overall market with it's offering of essential 'extras' such as a VGA camera and a large, friendly display, while lacking in special features such as Bluetooth or removeable memory. This will attract the younger users who find such display/camera features indispensible, but it does not provide the advanced data storage and transfer capabilities required by more sophisticated users.

As compared to other models within the Siemens product line, the CX65 does not stand apart significantly from their other candybar-style phones, but for it's specific feature complement. Indeed, the CX65 carries over many design elements - and even many specific physical components - from the long line of various A/C/S55/65 models. In other words, where one model may offer a camera while another may not, or Bluetooth vs. non-Bluetooth, the core design elements such as the integrated circuit chipset or the mechanical structure may be very similar if not identical.

While such a design approach may offer certain advantages such as improved time-to-market due to design re-use, or brand identity, it may create difficulties in distinguishing the product within the marketplace, or may appear as rather 'stale' as other brands continue to evolve more rapidly.

Siemens CX-65 Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisSiemens CX-65 Mobile Phone Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers Representing approximately 62% of total materials costs:

Display - 2.1-inch TFT 65K Color / 132x176 - ~$25.00

Memory (2 devices - Flash & SDRAM) $11.00

DBB/ABB Chips ~$10.00

Camera Module (VGA/CMOS) $5.50

Manufacturing Notes - While The CX65 final assembly location is identified as Germany, we are assuming that the sub-assembly manufacturing - PC assembly and mechanicals fabrication - is performed in a lower-cost, geographically adjacent Eastern European region. We have applied a generalized labor cost assumption that is representative of most Eastern European countries for these manufacturing costs.


As noted above, the CX65 shares many design elements with other previous and current Siemens phones.

  • Baseband - As with virtually all Siemens models, the CX65 uses an integrated single-chip baseband controller/processor manufactured by Infineon. However, this model uses a device not previously seen, PMB8875. Unfortunately no data is currently available for this device, and it is assumed that it is new or perhaps a semi-custom ASIC exclusively for Siemens. It is assumed that such integration of the analog and digital functions, along with a compromise in sime of the associated functionality, may result in a modest cost savings over a traditional 2-chip solution.
  • Power Management - While the voiceband and RF interface functionality is integrated into the PMB8875, the power management functions still require a separate device. Siemens has used Dialog Semiconductor products for this purpose extensively, but as with the baseband device the CX65 uses a particular IC not previously seen.
  • Memory - In the CX65, as with most other models, Siemens continues to avoid the use of single-device MCP memory products, preferring to use 2 separate devices for Flash and RAM. In this case an Intel Strataflash 256Mbit Flash device and a Samsung 64Mbit SDRAM. While Siemens has used Samsung quite extensively, this is the first we have seen of Samsung's Mobile-SDRAM products, a product line specifically designed for low-power applications such as mobile phones.

It should be noted that we have significantly lowered our cost estimates on these memory devices based on updated market information as compared to recent previous teardowns. While these cost deltas may appear rather large, we are confident that they are accurately representative of the current market.

  • Display - At 2.1 inches diagonal and 132x176 pixels, this is the largest, highest resolution display we have yet seen in a Siemens phone. It is comparable to the displays seen in other models of similar functionality and price range.
  • Camera - As is typical of models in this range of the market, a CMOS VGA Module is used here. Though many phone models in this range are now offering camera flash lighting, the CX65 does not include this.

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