Mobile Devices

Cal-Comp Cricket A100 Mobile Phone Teardown

20 February 2009
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Overview / Main Features

The Cal-Comp Cricket A100 handset is an entry level candybar CDMA mobile phone designed specifically for Cricket Communications. The no-frills handset features support for the AWS spectrum (1700MHz) which is the latest carrier spectrum offered by the FCC for the US market.

The Cal-Comp A100 is powered by a Qualcomm QSC6055 baseband processor and support CDMA2000 1x technology (2.5G). In order to keep cost down, the Cal-Comp handset does not offer any amenities like built in camera or Bluetooth connectivity but rather keeps to the basic functionalities of a voice-centric device.

Cal-Comp Cricket A100 Mobile Phone Main ImageCal-Comp Cricket A100 Mobile Phone Main Image

Target Market

Per corporate profile (Leap Wireless) description:

[Cricket Communications wireless services are] "targeted to meet the needs of customers under-served by traditional communications companies

The demographics of the target market are usually within rural US locales underserved by larger tier I service providers (e.g. AT&T and Verizon) and a typical customer base that tends to be pre-paid rather than monthly subscription based.


Per press release, first released into select Cricket markets on Feb. 2009.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing - Cricket offers this privately labeled handset for approximately $90 retail.

Availability - Select Cricket service areas within the US.

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 1.1M 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 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.

Cal-Comp Cricket A100 Mobile Phone - Main PCB BottomCal-Comp Cricket A100 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.

iSuppli estimates unit shipments of 125M CDMA1x handsets in 2008 global market. All estimates are based on a 2 year product life span assumption.

Cal-Comp Cricket A100 Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisCal-Comp Cricket A100 Mobile Phone Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers Representing ~68% of total materials cost

Qualcomm - QSC6055 - Baseband Processor / RF Transceiver - Single-Chip, CDMA2000 1X, Tri-Band 800MHz/1900MHz/AWS(1700/2100MHz), Bluetooth, GPS, 65nm

Display Module Value Line Item - 1.8' Diagonal, 65K Color CSTN, 160 x 128 Pixels

Samsung Semiconductor - K5E1257ACM-D075 - MCP - 512Mb NAND Flash, 256Mb Mobile SDRAM, 1.8V

Battery - Li-Ion, 3.7V, 860mAh

CCTC - 8-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, 2+4+2

Charger - 5.2V, 550mA, w/ Plastic Bag

Keypad Assembly - Injection Molded Plastic Keys, Silkscreened, Chromed, on Silicone Rubber Substrate

Avago - ACPM-7391-TR1 - PAM - CDMA 1750-1785MHz & CDMA 1710-1755MHz

Total BOM Cost $39.81

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

Cal-Comp is the OEM for this privately labeled Cricket CDMA handset. Cal-Comp is not an OEM that iSuppli followes closely and thus have little commentary to offer for the firm.

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 displays and camera), 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.

Cal-Comp Cricket A100 Mobile Phone - Enclosure DisassemblyCal-Comp Cricket A100 Mobile Phone - Enclosure Disassembly

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The Cal-Comp Cricket A100 has an overall component count of 517 excluding box contents, of which, 89 are mechanical in nature.

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 Cal-Comp handset features a Qualcomm QSC6055. This is the first time that we've encountered this baseband processor which is not unsurprising due to the novelty of the AWS spectrum support within the device.

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Cal-Comp Cricket A100 design:

Main PCB

Baseband / RF Transceiver

  • Baseband Processor / RF Transceiver - Qualcomm - QSC6055
  • Antenna Switch - TriQuint Semiconductor - TQP4M3019


  • MCP - Samsung Semiconductor - K5E1257ACM-D075


  • PAM - Avago - ACPM-7391-TR1 CDMA 1750-1785MHz & CDMA 1710-1755MHz
  • PAM - Avago - WS1403-TR1 CDMA 1900, 1850-1910MHz
  • PAM - Avago - WS1103-TR1 CDMA 800, 824-845MHz


  • Display Module - 1.8' Diagonal, 65K Color CSTN, 160 x 128 Pixels


Cal-Comp Cricket A100 Mobile Phone - Box ContentsCal-Comp Cricket A100 Mobile Phone - Box Contents

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