Mobile Devices

Sagem Vodafone 527 Mobile Phone Teardown

17 July 2008
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.


The Vodafone 527 is a candybar handset that has dual-band GSM and GPRS data connection that is manufactured by Sagem exclusively for Vodafone. It is based on Texas Instrument's LoCosto chipset and has a 1.8 diagonal 128x160 TFT display, VGA camera modules, features Bluetooth (V2.0), and FM Radio.

Sagem Vodafone 527 Mobile Phone Main ImageSagem Vodafone 527 Mobile Phone Main Image
Target Market

Mainstream users with focus on cost and basic phone capabilities. This phone is marketed toward prepaid-phone service customers.

Release / Availability

April, 2008.

Pricing / Availability

At the time of this writing, Vodafone has this phone available on their Germany's website for 69.9 Euros.

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 800,000 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.

Sagem Vodafone 527 Mobile Phone - Main PCB BottomSagem Vodafone 527 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.

From our Design Forecast Tool (DFT), we estimate unit shipments of 374 million GPRS handsets in the 2008 global market, furthermore we estimate 141 million VGA camera phone units to ship in the 2008 global market.

Sagem Vodafone 527 Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisSagem Vodafone 527 Mobile Phone Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers Representing ~71% of Total Direct Materials

Primary Display Module - 1.8' Diagonal, 65K Color, 128 x 160 pixels

Texas Instruments - D6553BTBS3 - DBB - Digital Baseband Processor / RF Transceiver, TI LoCosto

Spansion - S71NS256PB0ZJETV0 - MCP - 256Mb NOR Flash + 32Mb PSRAM, 90nm Process

Camera Module - VGA CMOS, 1/4' Format, Fixed Lens

Sagem - Battery - Li-Ion, 3.7V, 870mAh (Assumed)

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

Texas Instruments - BRF6300C - Bluetooth - Single Chip Solution, V2.0+EDR, 90nm Process

Skyworks - SKY77518-21 - Transmit Module - PAM, Dual-Band, GSM/GPRS 900/1800, w/ Integrated Antenna Switch

Sagem - DCH3-050EU - Charger - 5.0V, 500mA

Handsfree Accessory - Stereo, w/ Single Control Button, Plastic Clip, & Zip Lock Bag

Keypad Assembly - Injection Molded Plastic Keys, Silkscreened, Painted, & Chromed, on Silicone Rubber Substrate, w/ Integral Stamped Metal Backing Plate

Main PCB - 8-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, 1+6+1, Halogen Free

Materials and Manufacturing $46.39

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

Sagem's Relationships / Manufacturing

Per iSuppli's ""Global OEM Manufacturing and Design Analysis (GOMDA)", we estimate that Sagem outsources approximately one-fifth of it's production to ODM providers such as Techfaith and SIMCOM.

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 all domestically 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 Bluetooth modules), 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.

Sagem Vodafone 527 Mobile Phone - Enclosure DisassemblySagem Vodafone 527 Mobile Phone - Enclosure Disassembly

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The Vodafone 527 has a total component count (less box contents) of 461 components (not including box contents), of which 80 are mechanical in nature - this seems well within the norms for a phone with this type of feature set.

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.

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 Vodafone 527 design is based on Texas Instrument's LoCosto Single Chip solution which integrates the digital baseband and RF radio. Of the phones we previously analyzed, this is the third instance we came across the LoCosto chipset; where the other two instances are from the SonyEricsson Z250i and Motorola F3. The analog baseband IC is also from Texas Instrument and is a common chip, TWL3031, that is used in many phones with Texas Instrument baseband solution. The power amplifier module is a Skyworks Solution IC which we have previously seen in the Motorola F3. The memory used is from Spansion and the capacity is typical of low-end cell phones. The other three major chips are for features found this phone; bluetooth, FM radio, and external memory. The Bluetooth and external memory (MicroSD) interface ICs are also from Texas Instruments and the FM Radio is a Silicon Laboratories IC.

The design of this phone is very similar to the Motorola F3 as they share the same major chips for processing and RF functionalities. This design is very likely to be a reference design from Texas Instruments for manufacturers to achieve a quick time to market strategy.

Here is a summary of major components:

Main PCB

Digital Baseband / RF Transceiver

  • Texas Instruments - D6553BTBS3 - Digital Baseband Processor / RF Transceiver, TI LoCosto

Analog Baseband / Power Management

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


  • MCP - Spansion - S71NS256PB0ZJETV0 - 256Mb NOR Flash + 32Mb PSRAM


  • PAM - Skyworks - SKY77518-21 - Dual-Band, GSM/GPRS 900/1800

User Interface

  • Bluetooth - Texas Instruments - BRF6300C - Single Chip Solution, V2.0+EDR
  • Memory Card Transceiver - Texas Instruments - SN74AVCA406L - MMC, SD CARD, Memory Stick Voltage-Translation
  • FM Radio - Silicon Laboratories - Si4702-C19-GM - FM Radio Tuner

Display Module

  • 1.8' Diagonal, 65K Color TFT, 128 x 160 Pixels

Camera Module

  • VGA, CMOS, 1/11' Format, Fixed Lens


Sagem Vodafone 527 Mobile Phone - Box ContentsSagem Vodafone 527 Mobile Phone - Box Contents

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