One aspect of the mobile industry that isn’t so closely watched is what is the cost breakdown for the average handset? Well, that’s part of the problem, because simply put there is such a range of parts, suppliers of those parts and different components that all phones are most certainly not created equally.
That said, this week iSuppli Corp. did a virtual teardown of the new Palm Pre, a smartphone aimed to rival the iPhone. Here are some quick highlights:
- Cost of materials for the Palm Pre is $137.93
- Bill-of-Materials (BOM), which includes hardware, manufacturing, software and IP licensing costs is $170.02
- The breakdown includes $9.58 for manufacturing and basic test costs
- Software and licensing costs of $22.61
And while the phone’s total cost is about $170, the phone could be sold to Sprint Nextel for about $300 a unit. As iSuppli is quick to point out this isn’t what most customers will pay however, and that price could be about $200. It is also worth noting that the $170 price doesn’t including shipping, logistics, marketing and other channel costs – not to mention the R&D dollars that were spent developing the handset.
Furthermore, what is really interesting about the iSuppli numbers is the estimated cost of some of the key components, and if you’re at all like me you might find some of this fascinating. For example:
- The 8GB of NAND flash memory that the phone will contain costs almost $16, or 9.4 percent of the BOM.
- The dual-band CDMA EVDO air interface – basically what makes a mobile phone a mobile phone – costs a tad less than the memory, or about 9.1 percent of the BOM
- That 3 megapixel digital camera accounts for 7.3 percent of the BOM, or $12.39
When you put it all together you certainly have a device that is worth more than the sum of its parts. And here, like many of our modern devices, it is easy to see how something so small and cheap (price-wise) can easily render an expensive device almost useless should something go wrong.
Green Plug Gives Kudos to CTIA
While Earth Day was last week not much was said about mobile phones, but it is worth mentioning that Green Plug, the developer of digital technology enabling real-time collaboration between consumer electronics (CE) devices and the powers sources, gave a green shout out to CTIA, The Wireless Association.
The mobile phone trade group is moving forward with support of universal charging for mobile phones. The group hopes to see a Universal Charging Solution in place by January 1, 2012. This initiative is partially to reduce e-waste through a “one-charger-fits-all” solution, and it would further help push for development of Energy Star requirements for the power adaptors.
So regardless of the green label or not, it is a great idea to have one charger that works for multiple devices. I’ll have room in my carry on bags again!
3G Wireless Router Always On
This week, CP Technologies has announced that its portable 3G wireless router, the LevelOne MobileSpot portable Wireless Hotspot (WBR-3800) is ready to let you get connected. With this router users can connect and share an Internet connection or create a virtual private network from just about anywhere.