“The Droid Incredible could have been dubbed the ‘Nexus Two’ given its similarity to HTC’s Nexus One introduced early this year,” observed Andrew Rassweiler, director and principal analyst and teardown services manager for iSuppli. “Indeed, the phones are very similar in terms of costs and features, with the main difference being the Incredible’s support for the CDMA air standard used by carrier Verizon in the United States.”
The Nexus One’s BOM amounted to $174.15, based on iSuppli’s January pricing estimate, very close to the current materials cost for the Incredible. The centerpiece of both phones is an advanced Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) display. Both phones also share a common electronic design based on Qualcomm Inc.’s 1GHz Snapdragon baseband processor. Finally, the Incredible and Nexus One both integrate a class-leading density, at 4Gbit, of Mobile Double Data Rate (DDR) DRAM to support the processor.
Beyond the use of CDMA in the Incredible, only a few other differences distinguish the phone from the Nexus One. The Incredible, for one, uses an optical track pad, as opposed to the trackball on the Nexus One. Furthermore, the Incredible employs HTC’s Sense User Interface (UI) overlay, whereas the Nexus uses the generic Android UI.
When the $8.90 manufacturing cost is added in, the combined BOM and production expense for the Incredible amounts to $172.25.
Qualcomm, Samsung and Hynix Lead the BOM Parade
The most expensive section of the Incredible is the baseband/applications processor, at a cost of $31.40, and accounting for 19.2 percent of the smart phone’s total BOM. This section is dominated by Qualcomm Inc.’s baseband Integrated Circuit (IC), which includes the Snapdragon processor.
Coming in at a close second in terms of expense is the display and touch screen section at a cost of $31.20, or 19.1 percent of the BOM. The AMOLED display portion of this subsystem is supplied by Samsung Mobile Display Co. Ltd.
Next in the ranking is the memory section, at a cost of $29.80 and accounting for 18.2 percent of the BOM. In the individual Incredible phone unit torn down by iSuppli, this section consists of NAND flash memory and mobile Double Data Rate (DDR) DRAM from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and more NAND from Hynix Semiconductor Inc. However, iSuppli believes that HTC is likely using additional sources of supply for these commodity memory parts.
Broadcom, Texas Instruments and Atmel Get Incredible Wins
Other major functional sections and suppliers include:
- The Bluetooth/WLAN section, at a cost of $8.45 or 5.2 percent of the BOM, featuring a Broadcom Corp. chip that combines Bluetooth, FM and WLAN support.
- The power management section, with an expense of $7.25 and amounting to 4.4 percent of the BOM, including semiconductors from Qualcomm and Texas Instruments Inc.
- The user interface functions, costing $5.55 and accounting for 3.4 percent of the BOM, featuring an Atmel touch screen controller, an Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corp. (AKM) electronic compass and a Bosch Sensortec GMBH accelerometer.
- The Radio Frequency (RF) transceiver section, with a cost of $5 and representing 3.1 percent of the BOM, centered on a single-chip RF device from Qualcomm.
- The power amplifier section, at a cost of $2.60 and BOM share of 1.6 percent, featuring two transmit modules from Avago Technologies Ltd. and TriQuint Semiconductor Inc.