Acquired Electronics360

Mobile Devices

Samsung SGH-ZX20 Mobile Phone Teardown

16 January 2007
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

Main Features

Mid to high-end clamshell 3G dual-band UMTS / quad-band GSM HSDPA 1.8 clamshell camera phone with rotating 1.3MP camera module, and also features a 1.9 inch 262K color 176 x 220 resolution screen. This phone also features Bluetooth 1.1, USB, significant internal memory (MCP - 1Gb (2 Die x 512Mb) 2.7V NAND Flash, 512Mb (2 Die x 256Mb) 1.8V Mobile SDRAM) as well as a MicroSD card expansion slot.

Samsung SGH-ZX20 Mobile Phone Main ImageSamsung SGH-ZX20 Mobile Phone Main Image


Primarily the focus feature of this phone is it's HSDPA high speed data capability, taking data transfer rates the next step beyond EDGE. Furthermore, this phone and the simultaneously analyzed LG CU500 clamshell are essentially identical functionally - same feature sets, both clamshells, and both using essentially the same or very similar core components. The Samsung and LG compete head to head at Cingular, and it appears that the Samsung falls just a bit short of the LG by offering, for example, an external monochrome LCD (vs. 65K color TFT on the LG), and the outdated stub antenna design, vs. LG's completely internalized model. Otherwise we are pretty much talking apples-to-apples HSDPA phones based on a Qualcomm MSM6275 core chipset (also used in the recently analyzed Samsung SGH-Z520) with Bluetooth 1.1, 1.3MP rotating camera modules with similarly sized screens.

Target Market

Although Samsung has recently made some strides in the aesthetic appeal of their phones aimed at the international market, it always seems that the bulk of those sold in the US are very ho-hum silver flip designs shooting straight at the mainstream consumer, with the thought that perhaps more unique design styling may alienate many users - so there seems to be a tendency to stick with this look which strikes again here - mainstream appeal - silver flip phone (with black highlights in all fairness).

However, this phone specifically would have to focus primarily on those who intend to leverage the high data speed of HSDPA - the primary feature of the phone. Given the newness of this technology and the focus on data rate - this would be focused on more niche, upscale early-adopters, but may soon become the mainstream. Cingular and other service providers are only too happy to make this segment more mainstream as their revenues will be improved through the offering of HSDPA/EDGE oriented subscription services featuring paid downloading of streaming music and video channels, such as "Cingular Video for example. Vodafone in Europe are another example of a service provider offering such subscriptions with their ""Vodafone Live" services.

Samsung SGH-ZX20 Mobile Phone - Rear View - Main Enclosure Removed - Main PCB ExposedSamsung SGH-ZX20 Mobile Phone - Rear View - Main Enclosure Removed - Main PCB Exposed


Per press releases - August 29, 2006 via Cingular in the United States. (over 1 month after LG CU500 release)

Pricing and Availability

The phone cost, as offered, with subsidies from Cingular is $99.99 with a 2-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate which requires ""an unlimited MEdia Net plan" - the cost of which is clearly compensating for what seems to be a low hardware retail price. (This is identical to the LG CU500).

Samsung SGH-ZX20 Mobile Phone - Main PCB TopSamsung SGH-ZX20 Mobile Phone - Main PCB Top

Volume Estimations

HSDPA phones are relatively new on the market and have not seen a great deal of penetration yet, we are therefore assuming a relatively modest lifetime production volume of 700,000 units for this model.

As a reminder, volume production assumptions are not meant to be necessarily 'market accurate', and our meant primarily to be 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).

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 most recent revision of this tool iSuppli estimates a total US shipment volume of 6.3 million quad-band HSDPA/WCDMA 800/1900 EDGE/GSM 800/900/1800/1900 handsets during the 2006 - 2008 timeframe (roughly the product lifespan of this product) - which represents about 30% of similar handset shipments worldwide. Furthermore, Cingular is currently the only US service provider currently offering HSDPA service - it is assumed that T-Mobile will offer this service in 2007. We assumed that during this timeframe there would be roughly 10 - 15 handset models competing in this space in the US from which we derived our volume estimates. The LG CU500 has an advantage over Samsung SGH-ZX20 in terms of z-factor and tight relationship with carriers - so it is assumed that the volume production for this Samsung model would be slightly inferior to that of the LG.

Samsung SGH-ZX20 Mobile Phone - Main PCB BottomSamsung SGH-ZX20 Mobile Phone - Main PCB Bottom

Function / Performance

Functional testing was not performed on the Samsung SGH-ZX20.

Samsung SGH-ZX20 Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisSamsung SGH-ZX20 Mobile Phone Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Phone costs are largely feature driven, but also driven by general manufacturing complexity, design for manufacturing (or DFM), component counts and of course the country where they are assembled. This phone is not one of the most complex or feature-rich phones we have seen, however, the phone is driven in cost by the features it has - such as the HSDPA capable chipset, clamshell form factor (always adds cost and complexity) - dual screens, and a very high discrete component count - which generally dirves manufacturing costs higher.

Main Cost Drivers representing approximately 59% of total materials costs

Qualcomm - MSM6275 - Baseband Processor - Single Chip, Quad-Band GSM/GPRS, GPS, UMTS, HSDPA & Bluetooth

Primary Display - 262K Color TFT, 172 x 172um Pixel Size, 176 x 220 Pixels, 1.9 Inch Diagonal

Samsung - KBE00F005A-D411 - MCP - 1Gb (2 Die x 512Mb) 2.7V NAND Flash, 512Mb (2 Die x 256Mb) 1.8V Mobile SDRAM

Camera Module - 1.3MP CMOS, 1/4' Format - Fixed Lens

Samsung - ABGZX20BBA - Battery - Li-Ion Polymer, 3.7V, 1000mAh

High Intensity White LEDs (Backlighting)

Secondary Display Value Line Item - Dual Color LCD, 96 x 96 Pixels

Main PCB - 10-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, 2+6+2

Qualcomm - RTR6250 - RF Transceiver - ZIF, Quad-Band GSM/GPRS Transceiver and Tri-Band UMTS 800/1900/2100MHz Transmitter

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), AND manufacturing and test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself - cost of intellectual property, software, software loading and test, licensing, 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

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

As is typically the case with LG and Samsung phones - the product is labeled as Made in Korea, furthermore, we have assumed that for the SGH-ZX20, the PCB was also populated in Korea, but that custom mechanicals (plastics and metals) were sourced from China. Once again, it seems that Samsung is the only exception to the made in China 'rule' for most chargers. The charger or power supply is also labeled as made in Korea - but China is by far the most popular country of origin for chargers, now.

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 chargers), 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.

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The Samsung SGH-ZX20 nearly tops the list in sheer component count against all other Samsung phones analyzed to date. At a component count of 954, the SGH-ZX20 has more compoenents than the recently analyzed SGH-Z105 (with same Qualcomm chipset) which had a total count of 942 components, the SGH-Z140 (829 components), and almost tops the the previously seen SGH-Z105 (986). In fact at component counts of 900 and above, phones are clearly in a high-complexity category.

At 124 mechanical components, this phone is less complex mechanically than the LGCU500 analyzed in parallel, but both phones are near the high-end in terms of mechanical complexity. Mechanically complex phones generally involve more hand assembly, and have longer manufacturing cycle times.

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, increased in this case because of assumed labor rate applied for Korea vis--vis much lower rates applied when the country of origin is 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 bulk of the design here revolves around a Qualcomm chipset. The phone uses an 'all-in-one' DBB baseband solution from Qualcomm (MSM6275). This chip really centralizes all of the functionality of the phone including even Bluetooth baseband functionality, as well as GPS functionality. We have also seen the Qualcomm MSM6275 chip in the Samsung SGH-Z520 and parallel LG CU500 analyses.

Main PCB


  • DBB - Qualcomm - MSM6275 - Digital Baseband Processor, Quad-Band GSM/GPRS, GPS, UMTS, HSDPA & Bluetooth

Battery / Power Management

  • Power Management IC - Qualcomm - PM6650


  • Samsung - KBE00F005A-D411 - MCP - 1Gb (2 Die x 512Mb) 2.7V NAND Flash, 512Mb (2 Die x 256Mb) 1.8V Mobile SDRAM


  • PAM (GSM) - TriQuint Semiconductor - TQM7M5003 - PAM - Quad-Band, GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • PAM (WCDMA) - Anadigics - AWT6272R - PAM - Single-Band, WCDMA 800MHz - Anadigics - AWT6276R - PAM - Single-Band, WCDMA 1900MHz
  • RF Transceiver (GSM/UMTS) - Qualcomm - RTR6250 - ZIF, Quad-Band GSM/GPRS Transceiver and Tri-Band UMTS 800/1900/2100MHz Transmitter
  • RF Receiver - Qualcomm - RFR6202 - ZIF, Dual Band UMTS 800/2100MHz
  • LNA - Qualcomm - RFL6202 - Dual, UMTS 800/2100MHz
  • Antenna Switch - Sony - CXG1198AEQ - Antenna Switch - GSM/UMTS Dual Mode

User Interface

  • Bluetooth RF Module - Murata
  • FM Sound Synthesizer - Yamaha - YMU765


  • Primary - 1.9' Diagonal TFT - 262K Color - 176 x 220 pixels
  • Secondary - 1.2" Diagonal - Dual-color (Monochrome) Color LCD - 96 x 96 Pixels

Camera Module

  • 1.3MP, CMOS, 1/4' Optical Format - Fixed Lens (All polycarbonate)


Samsung SGH-ZX20 Mobile Phone - Box ContentsSamsung SGH-ZX20 Mobile Phone - Box Contents

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