Mobile Devices

Apple iPhone 3G 8GB Teardown

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

Overview / Main Features

Once again, Apple has generated tremendous buzz and anticipation around the next generation iPhone release. The iPhone 3G is a refreshed touchscreen phone design coming on the heels of the 1st anniversary of the original Apple iPhone introduction. Unlike the original Apple iPhone, the new iPhone 3G is distinguished by the inclusion of faster 3G (HSDPA) radio, GPS functionality as well as an upgraded iPhone 2.0 operating system which allows for 3rd party add-on applications making the iPhone 3G a genuine open platform smart phone.

Building on the success of the original iPhone, the iPhone 3G includes all of the much heralded features such as the innovative capacitive multi-touch glass touch-screen, auto-rotating 16M color display, integrated WLAN 802.11b/g and 2 MP camera while adding improved features such as faster cellular network speeds and assisted-GPS. Mechanically, the iPhone 3G still sports a large 3.5 inch display but now encased in a more rounded and rather ergonomic plastic back panel instead of the original flat die-cast metal rear panel.

Overall, from a hardware perspective, the iPhone 3G represents an evolutionary design change from the original rather than a revolutionary one. The 3G radio and GPS upgrades finally places Apple's mobile phone offering on parity with other high-end feature and smart phones in this particular market segment.

Target Market

High-end mobile phone and wireless data service consumers.

In order to capture a wider consumer base, both Apple and AT&T have aggressively reduced the 'cost of entry' for the iPhone 3G through generous up-front subsidies to reach the $199 price point for the 8GB model. Further, Apple has included push email service in the device via Microsoft Exchange as well as remote data-wipe provisions to attract enterprise customers.


Per press releases, first release in the US as well as 21 other countries worldwide (HSDPA markets) on July 11th, 2008.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing - Apple worked with their network carrier partners to subsidize the cost of the iPhone 3G handset. Depending on the carrier and the specific global iPhone 3G market, the device maybe partially or fully subsidized by the network carrier of choice. In the US, along with exclusive carrier partner AT&T, Apple is selling the handset for $199 and $299 (8 & 16GB respectively) only with a 2 year contract. iSuppli has estimated the size of that subsidy by AT&T to be roughly $300 placing the real cost of handset at $499 and $599 (excluding ~$50 IP royalty and OS development costs incurred by Apple).

Availability - Unlike the first generation iPhone which launched initially in the US, Apple has made the iPhone 3G available worldwide on July 11th, 2008. Initially slated for 22 countries (from New Zealand/Australia, Western Europe to the US - encompassing 3 HSDPA frequencies) the iPhone 3G became the first truly global phone launch for Apple.

Apple iPhone 3G 8GB - Main PCB TopApple iPhone 3G 8GB - Main PCB Top

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume (8GB iPhone 3G model) of 6.5M units over 1 year.

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 increment by an order of magnitude. Minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis.

Main Cost Drivers ~$110 (Representing ~73% of total materials cost)

Display Module Value Line Item - 3.5' Diagonal, 16M Color TFT, 320 x 480 Pixels

Touchscreen Assembly - 2-Layer Glass, Painted, w/ Integral Flex PCB, & Board to Board Connector

Infineon - PMB8878 - Baseband - Single-Chip, HSDPA/WCDMA/EDGE, Dual ARM926 & ARM7Core

Samsung Semiconductor - S5L8900B02 - Application Processor - ARM Core, PoP

Toshiba Semiconductor - TH58NV66D1DTG80 - Flash - NAND, 8GB, MLC

Camera Module Value Line Item - 2.0MP CMOS, 1/4' Format, Fixed Lens

Murata - Bluetooth / WLAN Module - Contains Marvell 88W8686 WLAN + CSR BlueCore6 Bluetooth

Samsung SDI - PGF354167A - Battery Cell - Li-Ion Polymer, 3.7V, 1150mAh

Samsung Semiconductor - K4X1G163PC-DGC3 - SDRAM - Mobile DDR, 1Gb, PoP

Nan Ya PCB Corp. - 10-Layer - FR4, FR4/RCF HDI, 1+8+1

Numonyx - PF3050M0Y0CE - MCP - 128Mb NOR Flash + 64Mb Mobile SDRAM, 1.8V

Infineon - PMB6952 - RF Transceiver - Quad-Band GSM/EDGE, Tri-Band WCDMA/HSDPA, 130nm RF CMOS

AC-USB Adapter - 5V, 1A

Main Enclosure Frame - Die-Cast Metal, Machined, Chromed, w/ 4 Spot-Welded Mounting Clips & 4 Welded Mounting Tabs

Infineon - PMB2525 - GPS Receiver - Single Chip, 0.13um, w/ Integrated Front-End RF, PLL, PM, Correlator Engine, & Host Control Interface

Enclosure, Main, Rear Cover - Injection Molded Plastic, Chromed, Silkscreened, w/ 9 Brass Inserts, & Glossy Finish

Infineon - PMB6820 - Power Management IC - RF Function

NXP Semiconductors - Power Management IC - Applications Processor Function

ST Microelectronics - LIS331DLTR - Accelerometer - MEMS 3-Axis, ±2g/±8g, Digital Output

FEM - Quad-Band GSM, Tri-Band UMTS Antenna Switch, & Quad-Band GSM RX RF SAW Filters

Broadcom - BCM5974 - Touchscreen Controller

Skyworks - SKY77340 - PAM - Quad-Band GSM/EDGE

Materials & Manufacturing $152.61

Apple iPhone 3G 8GB Cost AnalysisApple iPhone 3G 8GB Cost Analysis

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 V 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.

Apple iPhone 3G 8GB - Main PCB BottomApple iPhone 3G 8GB - Main PCB Bottom

Manufacturing Notes

OEM/ODM/EMS Relationships / Manufacturing

Based on our knowledge, this unit was manufactured by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.

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 also 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 the battery), 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 pin count of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The Apple iPhone 3G features a total component count of 1024 components (excluding box contents), of which 90 pieces were mechanical in nature. This component count represents an increase of 138 parts over the original Apple iPhone - most of which was a contribution from additional electronic components given the fact that there are virtually no moving parts on this device. Overall, the iPhone 3G design complexity places it near the high end of the complexity spectrum for mobile phones. As a comparison, other 3.5G handsets such as the Samsung BlackJack II and the Nokia N95 have a component count of 913 and 841 respectively. Apple used a larger than typical number of discrete logic in the iPhone 3G design along with various new and exotic IC packages that contributed to the overall complexity.

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.

Apple iPhone 3G 8GB - Enclosure DisassemblyApple iPhone 3G 8GB - Enclosure Disassembly

Design Notes

Apple juggled 2 conflicting design themes of cost reduction and feature enhancement on the new iPhone 3G. Overall, we believe that Apple was able to accomplish this feat by reducing the BOM component and manufacturing costs by nearly 24% while adding both a complete 3.5G solution and GPS function to the new device.

The major design changes from original iPhone are:

  • Redesigned 10-layer single PCB (rather than 2 nested PCBs for Applications and Wireless Interface)
  • Custom battery form to reduce device thickness / terminals not soldered
  • HSDPA/WCDMA/EDGE radios solution from Infineon
  • 3 separate WCDMA/HSUPA power amplifiers from TriQuint
  • GPS Receiver by Infineon
  • WLAN / Bluetooth combined module by Murata

In comparison to other 3.5G devices analyzed by iSuppli, the iPhone 3G represents a small group of minority designs based on non-Qualcomm HSDPA solution (other notables being Sony Ericsson Z750a and Nokia N95). Similiar to the Sony Ericsson Z750a, iPhone 3G features Infineon HSDPA baseband solution.

Here is a summary of the major components used in the iPhone 3G design:


  • Application Processor - Samsung Semiconductor - S5L8900B02
  • SDRAM - Samsung Semiconductor - K4X1G163PC-DGC3


  • Flash - Toshiba Semiconductor - TH58NV66D1DTG80
  • NOR Flash (+ 64Mb Mobile SDRAM) - Numonyx - PF3050M0Y0CE


  • Baseband (HSDPA/WCDMA/EDGE) - Infineon - PMB8878

RF Transceiver

  • Transceiver (Quad-Band GSM/EDGE, Tri-Band WCDMA/HSDPA) - Infineon - PMB6952

Bluetooth / WLAN

  • Bluetooth / WLAN Module - Murata - Contains Marvell 88W8686 WLAN + CSR BlueCore6 Bluetooth

Power Amplifier

  • PAM (WCDMA/HSUPA, w/ Integrated Duplexer) - TriQuint Semiconductor - TQM616035
  • PAM (WCDMA/HSUPA, w/ Integrated Duplexer) - TriQuint Semiconductor - TQM666032
  • PAM (WCDMA/HSUPA, w/ Integrated Duplexer) - TriQuint Semiconductor - TQM676031
  • PAM (Quad-Band GSM/EDGE) - Skyworks - SKY77340


  • GPS Receiver - Infineon - PMB2525

Power Management

  • iPod Power Management IC - NXP Semiconductors
  • RF Function Power Management IC - Infineon - PMB6820

User Interface

  • Audio Codec - Wolfson Microelectronics - WM6180
  • Display Interface Serializer - National Semiconductor - LM2512ASM
  • Touchscreen Controller - Broadcom - BCM5974

Apple iPhone 3G 8GB - Box ContentsApple iPhone 3G 8GB - Box Contents

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