Motorola Droid's $187.75 BOM Costs Tops iPhone, Nexus One
The Motorola Droid has a bill of materials (BOM) totaling approximately $187.75, iSuppli reported on Jan. 14, following a
"dissection" of the device. That total includes electronic
components adding up to $179.11 and manufacturing costs of $8.64.
the priciest of the recent smartphones iSuppli has taken apart. The
research firm recently estimated that the Google Nexus One, which is made by
HTC and, like the Motorola Droid, runs the Google Android operating system,
costs $174.15 to make. Similarly, it estimated a BOM of $172.46 for the Apple
iPhone 3G S and a BOM of $170.02 for the Palm Pre.
"Motorola has pinned all its hopes on one little
Droid," said Andrew Rassweiler, iSuppli's director and principal
analyst of teardown services, in a statement. "Indeed, the Droid is a
critical product for Motorola, which has suffered from dwindling market share
and declining market relevancy over the past few years. The last hit for
Motorola was the RAZR, launched in 2003."
In the third quarter of 2009, Motorola ranked fifth
worldwide, shipping 13.6 million handsets during the quarter - which was
down from 25.4 million a year earlier, according to Strategy Analytics.
Samsung, however, had a particularly strong third quarter that garnered it 20.7
percent of industry market share. It was the first time that a vendor other
than Nokia had shipped more than one-fifth of the world's handsets, said
analyst Neil Mawston, since "Motorola's RAZR-heyday performance in
While Palm, HTC, Samsung and LG have had some success with
their smartphones, the Droid represents Motorola's attempt to regain its
place within the global handset device market.
"For Motorola, the Droid represents an attempt to get
on the comeback trail with a competitive smartphone product," said
iSuppli revealed that the most expensive aspect of the Droid
is also its major differentiating feature - a microSD slot for
expanding its NAND flash memory. The Droid comes with a 16GB microSD card that
As for its integrated components, the priciest bit is the
Droid's 3.7-inch TFT LCD display with 16 million colors and a resolution
of 854 by 480 pixels - a
praised-by-reviewers feature that also sets the Droid apart. The display
costs $17.75, which is closely followed by its capacitive touch screen overlay,
priced at $17.50.
At $14.25, the camera module is the third-most pricey
integrated component. Still another distinguishing trait, its flash
capabilities and 5
megapixels are markedly better than the flash-less, 3-megapixel camera in the
iPhone 3G S.
"The [Droid's] camera module appears to be
sporting a new type of auto-focus actuation technology that iSuppli's
Teardown Analysis Service has not previously seen, and still hs not yet been
identified," iSuppli wrote in the Jan. 14 report. "iSuppli
hypothesizes that this may be bimetallic strips that are heat actuated. In
contrast, most auto-focus camera modules at this scale feature voice-coil
The Droid's Qualcomm core semiconductor, supporting
CDMA200 1x and EV-DO standards, GPS and tri-band 800MHz/1900MHz/AWS
(1700/2100MHz) frequencies comes at a cost of $14.04. The Texas
Instruments' application processor adds $12.90 to the bill, and the
Bluetooth/WLAN/FM transmitter/receiver, also from Texas Instruments, costs
"With the inclusion of all these features, Motorola is
attempting to address what it considers to be shortcomings in the
iPhone," said Rassweiler.
"However, at the end of the day, it's Google's software that will determine how well the device actually operates. This is critical because whatever the perceived shortcomings of the iPhone's features, it's the actual user experience that has made it so popular," Rasswwiler continued. "The real lesson of the iPhone is how well the whole device comes together and actually functions, no how many features it has."