Mobile Devices

Motorola Q Mobile Phone Teardown

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

Main Features

Dual-Band CDMA, 1XEVDO, Bluetooth capable PDA phone with built-in Windows Mobile 5.0 OS, Pocket Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. It features dual stereo speakers a 1.3MP camera with flash, a fairly broad 2.4 TFT display and a 35-key QWERTY keyboard in a thin 0.45 inch body.

Motorola Q Mobile Phone Main ImageMotorola Q Mobile Phone Main Image

The Motorola Q is claimed to be the world's lightest and thinnest QWERTY phone exclusively sold by Verizon wireless in the US. Sadly we were unable to perform functional testing on this device.

Target Market

Like the Blackberry and Treo, this phone is targeted to business users, because of the high level of functionality but because it also possesses the basic, desired consumer features that the Blackberry lacks, such as camera and a high resolution color TFT screen, the Q and Treos are far more mainstream. This phone is less comparable to the Blackberry, and is more comparable to recent incarnations of the Treo, specifically the 700p which pretty much competes head to head, feature for feature with this device. (The new Nokia E61 also competes very closely with these models, but in the GSM/WCDMA space).

This model may be 'the next big thing' for Motorola, after the tremendous success of the RAZR, and is a new entrant to the space formerly occupied solely by Palm and Research in Motion.


Available Q1 2006, per press release from Motorola.

Pricing and Availability

Exclusively offered by Verizon wireless, the Motorola Q (CDMA - this version) is selling for $199 online at Verizon Website with a 2-year contract. With a 1-year contract the price will bump up to $349. The closest competitor at Verizon (in terms of price) is the Palm Treo 650 which sells for $249 with a 1-year contract, however, the closest competitor in terms of functionality is the Treo 700p (which sells for $399).

Volume Estimations

Motorola has a large, commanding market share, and achieved incredible volume and visibility with the RAZR, which has since been succeeded to some extent by other 'thin' models, specifically the SLVR, and now the Q. Given it's price point, and Mot's overall market leverage, this kind of phone will probably succeed in bringing the price point for this kind of phone down with it, and increase the level of acceptance with users who might flinch at the usual >$200 price point established previously for PDA/Smartphones.

Per Motorola's own announcement, they dubiously and aggressively assert in their own announcement, that shipments of the Q in 2006 alone will be over 5 million units, based on aggressive ramping up to 3 million units shipped in Q4, 2006, alone. We, however are assuming a somewhat less aggressive 3 million units for lifetime production (over the course of 7 quarters roughly - or through 2007).

As a reminder, volume production assumptions primarily affect our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially).

Market Sector / Performance

Per iSuppli research the EvDO total market in 2006 will be fairly modest in shipment volumes, or about 25 million units in total. Furthermore, Motorola already has 4 EvDO models in their portfolio, and we estimate total shipments of about 3 million units in 2006, ramping to 6 million units in 2007.

Function / Performance

No testing was performed on the Motorola Q, as it was not activated with a CDMA service provider.

Motorola Q Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisMotorola Q Mobile Phone Cost Analysis
Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers Representing approximately 58% of total materials costs

Display Module (2.4", 320x240, 65K Color)

Memory (2 MCPs)

Apps Processor - Intel

Qualcomm - MSM6500 - DBB

Camera Module (1.3MP, 1/3" format CMOS)

Materials and Manufacturing*

* - The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect only the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), manufacturing and test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the manufacture of the core device itself - cost of shipping, logistics, marketing and other channel costs including not only 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 (phone, battery, charger and some accessories in this case - not packaging and literature) itself.

Manufacturing Notes

Country of Origin / EMS Provider

This Motorola Q was produced (final assembly, that is) in China, per markings on the device itself. As we typically do with product labeled as Made in China, we generally assume that where not noted, that sub-assemblies and some custom manufactured items (plastics, mechanicals, etc.) will be produced in the same region to maximize the ebenfit of the low cost region. We therefore assumed that the PCBA was assembled in China, and that the custom mechanical components were also produced in China. This is not known - and these are merely assumptions.

Design for Manufacturing / Complexity

The Motorola Q is a very simple phone design from a mechanical perspective, but still weighs in with a mechanical component count of 130 (vs. only 61 components in the Blackberry 8700c for example). From an electronic perspective the phone is heavy in terms of component count for phones with similar functionality. At a total component count of 893 components, this is within norms of previously analyzed PDA/Phones, but not setting records for integration.

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 relatively high production volumes (which decrease the per unit amortized cost of certain NRE, tooling and other up-front charges), and the country of final assembly, being China, where our assumed loaded skilled (technical) and semi-skilled labor rates are the worldwide low.

Design Notes

The Motorola Q shares a lot in common with previously analyzed phones both from Motorola, and other manufacturers. Although the Q itself may be a novel product for Motorola, the chips used in the design are not necessarily. The Core processor (Intel Xscale processor) is similar to, in as much as it's an Intel Xscale processor, to that used in the Blackberry 8700c we analyzed recently. The core 'phone' design portion revolves around a Qualcomm MSM6500 DBB and TI PTWL93017xxxx ABB chipset. The MSM6500 is relatively new from Qualcomm, but the TI ABB we have seen before uin the Motorola V635 phone.

For the PAMs, the Q features Skyworks PAMs, and in the RF sections features a Qualcomm chipset. The Q uses a Broadcom Bluetooth BCM2035KWB we have seen several times in previous Motorola and other designs (PEBL, V360…).

Here is a summary of the major components used in Motorola Q design:

Bluetooth & Memory Card PCB

User Interface

  • Bluetooth Baseband - Broadcom - BCM2035KWB

Main PCB


  • DBB - Digital Baseband Processor - Qualcomm - MSM6500
  • ABB - Analog Baseband - Texas Instruments - PTWL93017CZPHR

Baseband - Battery / Power Management

  • Power Management - Qualcomm - PM6650


  • Intel - RD38F4050L0YBQ0 - MCP - NOR Flash 256Mb, PSRAM 64Mb, 1.8V
  • M-Systems - MS15-D10SD9-C1-P - MCP - 128MB Flash DiskOnChip + 64MB 1.8V Low Power SDRAM


  • Intel - xxPXA270C5C312 - Applications Processor - 312MHz, 256KB Internal SRAM


  • PAM - Skyworks - CX77112 - CDMA PCS, 1850-1910MHz
  • PAM - Skyworks - CX77140 - CDMA/AMPS, 824-849MHz
  • RF Receiver - Qualcomm - RFR6000
  • RF Transmitter - Qualcomm - RFT6100
  • LNA - Qualcomm - RFL6000

User Interface

  • Freescale - MC13883 - USB On-the-Go Tranceiver w/ Integrated Battery Charger

Camera Module

  • Single 1.3MP CMOS, 1/3' Format - Fixed Lens

Display Module

  • Single display with 2.4" 65K Color TFT (240x320)


Motorola Q Mobile Phone - AccessoriesMotorola Q Mobile Phone - Accessories

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