Mobile Devices

Nokia 6230 Mobile Phone Teardown

20 October 2004
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Main Features

Main Features - Candybar, tri-band GSM with VGA/CMOS Camera, FM Stereo Radio and Bluetooth, IrDA and USB connectivity.

Nokia 6230 Mobile Phone Main Image
Marketing / Positioning

Release Date / Regional Availability - October, 2003 - it started shipping in Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific and Americas in the first quarter of 2004. The phone is currently available in the United States and is offered through Cingular as well as several second tier wireless service providers.

Nokia's Market Position and this Phone within the Portfolio - Nokia does with phones, what Steve Martin once said the French did with their language - "they have a different phone for everything! In other words, Nokia has a bewildering assortment and array of phones with all kinds of sometimes overlapping and complementary feature sets focused on every imaginable niche and sub-niche. But then, Nokia, with it's market share, is one of few manufacturers that can afford to segment their portfolio with so many similar and dissimilar models. Furthermore, as we have said many times with other Nokia phones, Nokia uses so many common components that they can afford to make mostly aesthetic changes paired with any number of a la carte options to offer a very broad set of products without making the NRE costs per model disproportionately or unfeasibly high.

About 48% of phones produced in 2005 will be camera phones such as the 6230. Furthermore, the sweet spot in camera phones has been the VGA resolution level for some time, and in 2005 we expect that about 80% of camera phones will be VGA resolution, and only 18% of cameraphone handset volume to be in the 1 to 2 MP resolution range. Furthermore, with general handset unit manufacturing rates growing at a healthy rate during the coming years, camera module unit sales will grow substantially. Furthermore, of the 750M unit forecast for this year, about 10% of those produced are expected to be EDGE capable, such as the Nokia 6230.

The 6230 has since been one-upped by the 6230i model (megapixel camera phone), and fits into a portfolio already crowded with similar features. Despite this segmentation, the 6230 is expected to have become a relatively high volume phone over it's lifetime (likely on the wane currently). We have assumed a production volume of 10 Million units over an approximate two year production life cycle. This assumption is used at several points in the cost analysis process in order to calculate the amortization of various NRE costs at various stages in the materials, manufacturing and test processes.

Target market - When the phone came out, back in late 2003, it was far more 'cutting-edge' than it would be considered now nearly two years later at the time of this writing, and was, at the time directed at ""mobile professionals". Per Nokia's release at the time ""mobile professional are early adopters of mobile technology, demanding advanced functionality and higher data speeds to keep them informed, entertained and connected while on the move", referring a lot to the relatively novel implementation of the EDGE data standard - but also this phone has a complete set of connectivity features - IrDA, Bluetooth, and even serial cable. This phone also clearly has a mainstream aesthetic (by Nokia standards) which resembles many a Nokia phone and is clearly designed for the mainstream and therefore high volume production.

Function / Performance

Functional testing was not performed on the Nokia 6230.

Nokia 6230 Mobile Phone (iSi) - Main PCB TopNokia 6230 Mobile Phone (iSi) - Main PCB Top

Cost Notes

The materials costs of phones are laergely features driven, and although some manufacturers, such as Nokia, have a more integrated approach with fewer discrete components, this phones' cost reflects it's feature-set - such features as Bluetooth and FM radio always add a block of dollars, albeit modest (typically 5 in materials cost for Bluetooth, and less than $2 for the FM radio. In this phone the DBB cost really steps out as the main cost driver, however, based on the high level of functionality found in the chip - specifically the EDGE capability.

Though manufactured in Eastern Europe, the total conversion cost of the 6230 is relatively low thanks to Nokia's efficient DFM approach; however, it may be assumed that manufacturing will soon be transferred to Asia, further lowering conversion cost.

Nokia 6230 Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisNokia 6230 Mobile Phone Cost Analysis

Main Cost Drivers representing approximately 50% of total materials costs

DBB Chip - EDGE Capable

Memory Chips NOR/NAND and SDRAM

ABB Chip

Camera Module (VGA/CMOS)

Bluetooth Chip


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 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 (the phone and packaging, in this case) itself.

Manufacturing Notes

Country of Origin - Made in Eastern Europe/ Hungary - EMS provider unknown. As noted above, the higher labor rates for this region as compared to Asia are reflected in the conversion cost. We have also assumed that the PCB stuffing and the production of mechanical components such as injection molded plastics and metals were also performed in Eastern Europe.

Design for Manufacturing / Complexity - Nokia phones always stand above the rest in terms of elegant simplicity when it comes to design for manufacturing. Nokia phones typically have fewer total components (both mechanical and electrical) representing a high degree of integration at all levels. Modularity and simplicity of manual assembly seem to guide all Nokia designs. As mentioned many times, such touches as always using a socketed snap-in camera module is far less complex to manufacture than competing designs using flex circuitry and board to board connections. More complex designs such as the latter elevates hand assembly cycle times, increases the risk of failure and rework, and also adds direct materials costs. The Nokia 6230 has realtively few mechanical components - a simple design manufactured in one of the lowest cost regions with proximity to Europe add up to low overall manufacturing costs.

Design Notes

There are several elements in the internal design of the 6230 worth noting:

  • The baseband processor device used here also performs all of the multimedia processing tasks; where it may be common to utilize a separate dedicated device for this function, cost savings may be realized if these functions can be combined as they are here, provided enough processing power is available.
  • This model is the first we have seen using the new CSR single-chip Bluetooth processor device. Previous Nokia models have used a Murata module consisting of separate RF/PA, baseband and memory IC's. While such an integrated solution may have carried a premium, significant price erosion is occuring; in addition, we are assuming that Nokia's large buying power makes this an effective solution in both component and manufacturing cost.
  • As noted above, the use of multi-chip memory devices is gaining dominance in the mobile market, and the use of three separate memory devices here is rather unusual.
  • The analog and digital basband processor devices, as well as the Philips FM radio device, are common to many Nokia models, and represent the design re-use of a proven core platform.


  • DBB - Nokia ASIC - Texas Instruments - NMP #4375107 ""TIKUEDGE" Chip
  • ABB - Nokia ASIC - ST Microelectronics - NMP #4370945


  • 3 Discrete Devices
  • NOR Flash - Samsung Semiconductor - K8S2815ETA - 128Mb
  • SDRAM Mobile - Samsung Semiconductor - K4M64163PG - 64Mb
  • NAND Flash - Samsung - KEE00E00CM - 64Mbit Muxed NAND


  • PAM - RF Micro Devices - NMP #4359017 - Tri-Band, EGSM900/DCS1800/PCS1900
  • RF Transceiver - ST Microelectronics - NMP #4370949 - Nokia 'Helgo' Chip

User Interface

  • Bluetooth - CSR - BC2133143A - Single Chip Bluetooth System
  • FM Radio - Philips Semiconductor - TEA5767 - Single-Chip FM Stereo Radio


  • 1.5" Diagonal, 128 x 128 65K Color TFT

Camera Module

  • VGA/CMOS Snap-In Module - Presumed to be from ST Micro


Nokia 6230 Mobile Phone (iSi) - Main PCB BottomNokia 6230 Mobile Phone (iSi) - Main PCB Bottom

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