Mobile Devices

Nokia 5500 Mobile Phone Teardown

08 August 2007
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Main Features

High-end of the mid-range tri-band GSM/EDGE candybar/monoblock form factor handset running Symbian OS v9.1. The Nokia 5500 also features a 2MP camera (no flash), media playback, e-mail, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, and even IrDA (still!). It comes with 512Mb (64MB) of NOR Flasf and 256Mb (32MB) of DRAM, but also offers MicroSD memory expansion. The screen used is fairly small, but typically of Nokia designs -1.65 inch diagonal, 208x208 pixels, 262K Colors.

Nokia 5500 Mobile Phone Main ImageNokia 5500 Mobile Phone Main Image


This phone is, as many Nokia models often are, really focused on a narrow marketing niche. Only Nokia seems to be able to do this - subsegmenting their line into so many target-market niche specific models. Nokia typically achieve this by changing primarily the look and feel of the device while always leveraging to the maximum extent possible, existing chip and other standard component 'building blocks' to pull off so many product respins at minimum cost.

This phone is heavily slanted at the Nike/iPod crowd - and is all about being a 'Sport-phone' It does have a few 'special features' aimed at this crowd such as a pedometer feature with calorie calculator. But also focuses on media playback featuring expandable storage for use as a music player. It also features hands-free text to speech. Other than that there is no evidence that this was built to be specifically ruggedized for outdoor or et?usage.

Target Market

Per Nokia press releases - this phone is clearly marketed as an 'active lifestyle' sports phone with a specific demographic in mind. Nokia call it a 'sport-inspired product' for people who fancy themselves as sporty.

Nokia 5500 Mobile Phone (iSi) - Enclosure DisassemblyNokia 5500 Mobile Phone (iSi) - Enclosure Disassembly


Per press releases - announced May 10, 2006 - availability at that time was expected in Q3 2006.

Pricing and Availability

Per Nokia - 300 Euro before taxes and subsidies.

Volume Estimations

Based on Nokia's market share, and our estimates of market volume shipments by manufacturers and market segments (see iSuppli Design Forecast Tool (DFT) data below), we are assuming a total production volume for this model of 4M units over a 2-year lifetime.

As a reminder, teardown volume production assumptions are 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). 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.

ISuppli's Design Forecast Tool (DFT) and Market Shares

As part of iSuppli 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 shipments of 91M tri-band EDGE (900/1800/1900) handsets in 2007 by Nokia alone. Furthermore, we estimate a total of 59 million Symbian-based mobile phones in 2007 (of which this model is a part) to be shipped by Nokia.

Function / Performance

Functional testing was not performed on the Nokia 5500.

Nokia 5500 Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisNokia 5500 Mobile Phone Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers Representing ~68% of total materials cost

Samsung Semiconductor - KAS31000AM-S44Y - MCP - 2x256Mb NOR Flash+ 256Mb DDR DRAM, 1.8V

Camera Module - 2.0MP CMOS, 1/4' Format

Display Module - 1.65' Diagonal, 262K Color TFT, 128x160 Pixels

Texas Instruments - NMP #4377223 - DBB - Digital Baseband Processor

Accessory - MicroSD Memory Card 64MB w/ SD Adapter in Plastic Case

AT&S ?Main PCB - 8-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, 2+4+2

Nokia - BL-5B - Battery - Li-Ion, 3.7V, 760mAh

ST Microelectronics - LIS3LV02DQ - Inertial Sensor - 3-Axis, +-2g/6g Digital Output Linear Accelerometer

CSR - BC41B143A - BlueCore4ROM - Single Chip Bluetooth Solution, V2.0+EDR

ST Microelectronics - NMP #4380189 - RF Transceiver - Quad-Band, GSM/GPRS/EDGE

Renesas - PF89001B - PAM - GSM - Tri-Band - 900/1800/1900, w/ Integrated Antenna Switch

ST Microelectronics - STV0984 - Video / Image Processor - 2 MegaPixel, SMIA Compliant CMOS Sensors, 0.13um

ST Microelectronics - NMP #4396177 - ABB - Analog Baseband / Power Management

Total BOM Costs $94.99

Total BOM & Manufacturing Costs $107.78

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 and 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

Nokia Relationships

We do not currently know, down to the model, where specific models may be manufactured, or by what EMS/ODM. The only information we have for these teardown analyses is typically limited to what is noted (except for handset country of origin labeling which are still used as the driving assumptions for manufacturing costs).

Having said all of this about relationships - Nokia are assumed to be peforming almost all of their own manufacturing work in house at one of 10 plants placed worldwide (about 75%), and furthermore, we estimate that approximately 80% or more of all production takes places in low-cost Nokia facilities, with the remainder in mid and high-cost countries. Major external partners include Elcoteq, Jabil and Foxconn (as of 2005).

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

We still see many Nokia products labeled as 'Made in Germany' (Bohcum plant assumed). It does seem odd that Nokia would produce the entire unit in Germany, given its status as one of the countries with the highest total loaded labor costs in the world. We are therefore assuming that much of the manufacturing and integration is taking place in lower cost regions, and in this case within Europe. In such cases we typically assume that sub-assemblies are made in Eastern Europe. When we generically refer to 'Eastern Europe' it is an average based on labor rates in the Czech Republic and Hungary. Hungary has historically been a popular manufacturing location for Nokia and is home for a major facility.

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.

The issue of labor rates was revisited in Q2 2006 as we began to apply some research by one the major worldwide EMS suppliers and are now applying some of their research on total loaded costs by country and region to arrive at these new rates which are pronouncedly higher on the low end in China. Remember 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.

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

Based on similar architecture (the same core DBB processor) - it seems that this phone is somewhat similar architecturally to the Nokia 6125 previously analyzed.

At a total component count of 521 components, of which 99 components are discrete mechanical components, this phone is average in its component count by almost any standard - furthermore, when compared with the Nokia 6125, that phone had 593 components with 111 discrete mechanicals. Overall this phone seems well integrated ?which is typical of all Nokia designs.

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

Nothing stands out in this phone as a breakthrough or innovation from a design perspective. It is essentially another demonstration of Nokia's commitment to component integration, design for manufacture and reuse of standard components.

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Nokia 5500 design:

Main PCB


  • DBB - Texas Instruments - NMP #4377223 - Digital Baseband Processor
  • ABB - ST Microelectronics -NMP #4396177 - Analog Baseband / Power Management

Battery / Power Management

  • ST Microelectronics - NMP #4376533 - ABB - ASIC


  • MCP - Samsung Semiconductor - KAS31000AM-S44Y - 2x256Mb NOR Flash+ 256Mb DDR DRAM, 1.8V


  • PAM ?Renesas - PF89001B - Tri-Band - 900/1800/1900, w/ Integrated Antenna Switch
  • RF Transceiver - ST Microelectronics - NMP #4380189 - Quad-Band, GSM/GPRS/EDGE

User Interface

  • ST Microelectronics - LIS3LV02DQ - Inertial Sensor - 3-Axis, +-2g/6g Digital Output Linear Accelerometer
  • ST Microelectronics - STV0984 - Video / Image Processor - 2 MegaPixel, SMIA Compliant CMOS Sensors, 0.13um
  • CSR - BC41B143A - BlueCore4ROM - Single Chip Bluetooth Solution, V2.0+EDR
  • NXP (Philips Semiconductor) - TEA5761UK - FM Radio - Single Chip, Low-Voltage

Camera Module

  • Image sensor ?Manufacturer Unknown - 2.0MP, CMOS, 1/4?Format - 2.20um x 2.20um Pixel Size, 4.30mm x 3.40mm Active Image Area

Display Module

  • 1.65' Diagonal, 262K Color TFT, 128x160 Pixels

Nokia 5500 Mobile Phone (iSi) - Box ContentsNokia 5500 Mobile Phone (iSi) - Box Contents

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