Acquired Electronics360

Mobile Devices

Motorola W233 Renew Mobile Phone Teardown

28 July 2009
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

Overview / Main Features

Motorola markets their MOTO W233 Renew handset as the "first certified Carbonfree cellphone on the market. Indeed, the MOTO W233 appears - at least on paper - to be a very environmentally conscious device. It boasts that the 100% recyclable housing is made from ""water bottles" as well as a 22% reduction in packaging material and box contents made from ""100% recycled post-consumer paper." However, in the final analysis, most of these environmentally friendly manufacturing claims may very well amount to mere marketing fodder for the purpose of promoting an otherwise uninspired low-cost handset.

Through our research, we discovered that the recycled water bottles Motorola refers to is not the ubiquitous one-time-use drinking water plastic bottles we all think of but, rather, the larger industrial strength 5 gallon variant used for water dispensing. Further, the claim of ""recyclable plastics" is a bit misleading as all plastics are intrinsically recyclable. Also, in order to meet the impact and drop test requirements of handsets, Motorola uses a plastic mixture or blend containing only 25% recycled ""water bottle" plastic. Lastly, the claim of carbon neutral manufacturing is primarily achieved through offsets or ""investments in renewable energy sources and reforestation" in conjunction with

Returning to the phone itself, the MOTO W233 is a basic dual band GSM/GPRS (850/1900 MHz) candybar handset that is positioned as a low-cost or no-cost handset for service providers such as T-Mobile in the US. Powering the device is a primarily TI LoCosto solution (in both DBB/RF and ABB/Power management) which we have seen in several other low-end GSM based handsets. The display on the W233 Renew is an inexpensive 1.6 inch CSTN with 65K colors. The only other notable feature on the camera-less handset is the inclusion of a microSD reader and built in media (music) player.

Motorola W233 Renew Mobile Phone Main ImageMotorola W233 Renew Mobile Phone Main Image

Target Market

Low-cost / ecologically-conscious handset consumers


Per press releases (January 6th, 2009), first release in the North American market during the Q1 (Jan-March) timeframe.

Motorola W233 Renew Mobile Phone - Main PCB TopMotorola W233 Renew Mobile Phone - Main PCB Top

Pricing and Availability

Pricing - Mobile handset pricing typically has little bearing on the true market value of the device due to the fact that service carrier invariably use subsidies to incentivize consumers to commit to long term service contracts. For example, the Motorola W233 Renew has a MSRP of $59.99 but sells for $9.99 after rebate with a qualifying service plan via T-Mobile. Also, Motorola sells the handset directly via their consumer web portal for $49.99.

Availability - This particular Motorola model is only available through T-Mobile service provider within the North America service area.

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 1.5M 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 are different by an order of magnitude, minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis because of this.

Motorola W233 Renew Mobile Phone - Main PCB BottomMotorola W233 Renew 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.

In 2009, the iSuppli DFT forecasts approximately 286M dual band GSM/GPRS handsets shipments worldwide with Motorola having an approximately 7.8% global wireless handset market share.

Motorola W233 Renew Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisMotorola W233 Renew Mobile Phone Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers Representing ~70% of total materials cost

Texas Instruments - D6553BUM2 - DBB - Digital Baseband Processor / RF Transceiver, TI LoCosto TCS2310

Wintek - WD-Y1212VC-6CLWs - Display Module Value Line Item - 1.6' Diagonal, 65K Color CSTN, 128 x 128 Pixels

Numonyx - M36L0R7060U2ZAM - MCP - 128Mb MLC NOR Flash + 64Mb PSRAM, 1.8V

Motorola - BQ50 - Battery - Li-Ion, 3.7V, 920mAh

Skyworks - SKY77517-11 - Transmit Module - PAM, Dual-Band GSM/GPRS 850/1900, w/ Integrated Antenna Switch

Texas Instruments - TWL3031FZPH - ABB - Analog Baseband / Power Management, TI LoCosto

Compeq - 6-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, 1+4+1, Lead-Free, Halogen-Free

Astec - Charger - 5.0V, 550mA, 2m Cord

Keypad Assembly - Injection Molded Clear Polycarbonate Keys, Painted & Printed, on Silicone Rubber Substrate

Handsfree Accessory - Earphone/Microphone, Stereo, 1.5m Cord

Enclosure, Main, Battery Cover- Injection Molded Recycled Polycarbonate, Painted, Recyclable

Total BOM Cost $30.92

Motorola W233 Renew Mobile Phone - Enclosure DisassemblyMotorola W233 Renew Mobile Phone - Enclosure Disassembly

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

Motorola is one of the OEMs that have higher exposure to contract manufacturers. In fact, according to iSuppli's ""Global OEM Manufacturing and Design Analysis - Q1 2009", Motorola outsources approximately 2/3rds of their wireless handset production. Motorola tends to use ODMs more than EMS providers for entry-level to mid-range phones. For example, Taiwan-based Compal Communications accounted for more than 29% of Motorola's annual shipment in 2008.

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 LCD display), 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 pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The MOTO W233 Renew has an overall component count of 437, of which, 14 are box contents and 88 are mechanical in nature. Compared to other low cost candybar handsets we've seen in history, the W233 has a slightly higher (50+) complexity but overall is very comparable to other devices in its category.

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 Motorola W233 Renew uses TI's LoCosto chipset which integrates the digital baseband and RF radio in a single chip. This design choice is consistent with previous uses of the TI chipset in the low-cost handsets such as the Motorola F3.

The ABB/Power Management IC also is a TI chip and the PA is supplied by Skyworks. Both of these are commonly seen in Motorola devices.

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Motorola W233 Renew design:

Main PCB

Digital Baseband / RF Transceiver

  • DBB Processor / RF Transceiver - Texas Instruments - D6553BUM2

Analog Baseband / Power Management

  • ABB / Power Management - Texas Instruments - TWL3031FZPH


  • MCP - Numonyx - M36L0R7060U2ZAM (128Mb MLC NOR Flash + 64Mb PSRAM, 1.8V)


  • Transmit Module - Skyworks - SKY77517-11 (Dual-Band GSM/GPRS 850/1900, w/ Integrated Antenna Switch)


  • Display Module - Wintek - WD-Y1212VC-6CLWs (1.6' Diagonal, 65K Color CSTN, 128 x 128 Pixels)


Motorola W233 Renew Mobile Phone - Box ContentsMotorola W233 Renew Mobile Phone - Box Contents

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