Acquired Electronics360

Mobile Devices

Motorola F3 Mobile Phone Teardown

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

Main Features

The Motorola Motofone F3 is an ultra low cost handset (candybar format) with monochrome display utilizing Electrophoretic (EPD) technology. The phone supports GSM dual band 900/1800MHz and features SMS, polyphonic ringtones and voice prompts. It is one of the most basic phones we have seen, and features a new kind of display that we had not seen previously.

Motorola F3 Mobile Phone Main ImageMotorola F3 Mobile Phone Main Image


Built upon the Motorola new SCPL design platform, the Motofone F3 is an ultra low cost handset emphasizing on its thin and sleek styling with only 9mm thick and is actually one of the thinnest in the Motorola line up. The phone does not come with a camera or other fancy multimedia features but does come with an impressive EPD display which provides high contrast screen viewable even under direct sunlight. One major drawback of this phone is that it does not even have vibrating alert which is pretty much standard even in low-end phones, but given the ULCH nature of the phone - it seems that all corners have been cut.

Target Market

First time mobile phone users, and emerging market consumers.


Per press releases, first release in India on November 28 2006.

Pricing and Availability

No official pricing found.

Volume Estimations

Based on Motorola's market shares, the strength and potential for sale in new emerging markets, 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 16 Million units over a 2-year lifetime. Motorola themselves have stated that they expect to ship 12 million units in 2007 alone of the Motofone, but we are applying a more conservative estimate here. (Sony Ericsson requested 9 Million units be used for cost estamation)

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'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 shipments of 42 M GSM in the 2007 global market. We further estimate shipments of 34 M dual band 900/1800 phones in 2007 global market.

Function / Performance

Functional testing was not performed on the Motorola Motofone F3 as the dual band phone would not operate with local US carriers.

Motorola F3 Mobile Phone Cost AnalysisMotorola F3 Mobile Phone Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers Representing ~59% of total materials cost

Texas Instruments - P6928BMIZPH - DBB - Digital Baseband Processor / RF Transceiver, TI LoCosto

Motorola - BD50 - Battery - Li-Ion, 3.7V, 700mAh

Texas Instruments - TWL3031DZPH - ABB - Analog Baseband / Power Management

E Ink - Display Module - Electrophoretic (EPD), 45mm x 35.5mm Overall Area

Skyworks - SKY77518-11 - PAM - Dual-Band, GSM/GPRS 900/1800, w/ Integrated Power Control

SPN5324A - Charger - 6.4V, 200mA

Keypad / Display Window Faceplate - Co-Molded Clear Polycarbonate & Silicone Rubber, Painted, Silkscreened, Chromed

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

Total BOM Costs (w/Manufacturing) $26.34

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 NotesMotorola Relationships / Manufacturing

Motorola is one of the OEMs that have higher exposure to contract manufacturers. Motorola uses ODMs more than EMS providers for entry-level to mid-range phones. For example, Taiwan-based Compal Communications accounted for more than 20% of Motorola's annual shipment in 2006.

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

This product is labeled as Made in China, furthermore, we have assumed that for this model that PCB was also populated in China, and that custom mechanicals (plastics and metals) were also sourced domestically 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 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

At first thought the Motofone F3 should have a low components count as it has virtually no "display module and no top enclosure (it has an integrated keypad with display window which covers the top of the phone). However, it turns out that it has 366 total components which falls in the mean among the competing phones and is in line with the previously analyzed C115 and C168. Despite that it integrates the keypad with the display window and virtually has only one component count for the display, it still has a mechanical components count of 61 which I suppose can be lower.

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 Motofone F3 uses TI's LoCosto chipset which integrates the digital baseband and RF radio in a single chip. Of all the phones that we analyzed, this is the first time we see an integrated DBB/RF solution. Although most Motorola designs we have seen feature a Freescale's DBB, in lower-end models like the C115 and C168, they do feature TI's DBB.

The ABB/Power Management IC also is a TI chip and the PA is supplied by Skyworks. Both of these are commonly seen in Motorola devices.

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Motorola Motofone F3 design:

Main PCBBaseband - Battery / Power Management

Texas Instruments - TWL3031DZPH - ABB - Analog Baseband / Power Management

Digital Baseband / RF

Texas Instruments - P6928BMIZPH - Digital Baseband Processor / RF Transceiver, TI LoCosto


ST Microelectronics - M58WR0L6QL70ZA6 - Flash - 16Mb NOR, 1.8V, 70ns


PAM - SKY77518-11 - Dual-Band, GSM/GPRS 900/1800, w/ Integrated Power Control

Display Electrophoretic (EPD), 45mm x 35.5mm Display Area"

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