Amazon Fire smartphone gets the Teardown.com treatment – value for money?
The team at Teardown.com have cracked open Amazon’s Fire smartphone and not only reveals all the techno gubbins within, but how much the device actually costs to build. Is the Amazon Fire phone worth the money? Read on Gadgety faithful. Read on.
Amazon’s Fire Phone enters the mobile market from AT&T (a similar strategy applied by Apple in 2007) and through direct sales via Amazon.com. Just like the first iPhone, and those which have followed since, the Teardown.com team has wasted no time analysing the Fire Phone to discern what choices the vendor made from a design, technology, assembly, and chipset perspective to bring its flagship device to market.
Before jumping into the Fire Phone they tested the Dynamic Perspective feature. While it is true the Dynamic Perspective cannot really be viewed in a still photo of the display, the teardown team did their best to capture photos of the hardware which delivers the 3D-like experience.
There are four cameras responsible for tracking the user’s face. Each of these rely on an infrared LED (these are seen as little purple lights in the photo below) and input from a single accelerometer/gyro IC the Invensense MPU-6500 Six-Axis (Gyro + Accelerometer) MEMS.
After some clever sleuthing, the team were able to find the die marks and have strong support for stating that the image sensors are from OmniVision.
Synaptics gets the final display design win with its S3310B touchscreen controller. This is part of the vendor’s ClearPad Series 3 Family of products.
Into the Fire Phone – Design Wins
From a hardware and chipset perspective the Amazon Fire is no slouch. Teardown.com’s team was encouraged to see that the design choices used to enable many of the features needed to compete in a connected world were chosen from a stable of many vendors’ premium product lines.
At the heart of the Fire Phone is the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 Application and Baseband processor running at 2.2GHz with 2 GB of LDDR3 RAM, this includes 32 GB of storage, support for nine LTE (as well as GSM and W-CDMA cellular modes), and WiFi 802.11a/n/ac. Teardown.com notes Qualcomm scored big in the design wins in the Amazon Fire Phone besting Broadcom in the combo Wi-Fi chip space.
The following Table captures a complete list of the key Integrated Circuit Design Wins in the Amazon Fire Phone.
Estimated Cost of Goods (CoGs)
The BOM (Bill of Materials) cost of the Amazon Fire Phone has been estimated at $209 USD. This includes the materials, chipsets, electronics, and assemble and test costs.
This is based on the expertise of a team of analysts that have provided costing on mobile and personal electronics for 15 years and an overview of their costing methodology can be reviewed here.
The following table segments the costs into the relevant systems – such as memory, display, battery, connectivity, and more. It should be noted this is Teardown’s initial cost and, over the next several weeks, they intend to cost each discrete technology, chipset, filter, etc. and this will be published in their Mobile Device library.
Teardown.com’s analysis clearly shows Qualcomm as the undisputable winner for IC design and socket wins. Qualcomm’s chips also make up the lion’s share of the Bill of Materials and contributed the largest percentage of our initial cost estimate.
Are you surprised by the results?
For the full Teardown experience, bounce over to Teardown.com.