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1/12/2010
11:13 AM
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Nexus One Teardown Reveals Hardware Costs

Materials to build Google's smartphone cost roughly the same as the hardware in Apple's iPhone 3GS, iSuppli says.

A research firm that tears down electronics products says Google's Nexus One has "the most advanced features of any smartphone ever dissected" by it. iSuppli said it has examined several smartphones including Apple's iPhone.

iSuppli estimates that the cost of hardware components in the Nexus One [its Bill of Materials (BOM)] totals $174.15. In addition to the Snapdragon, the Nexus One features Broadcom's BCM4329 chip, which integrates 802.11n, Wi-Fi- Bluetooth and FM technologies. The mobile phone also includes Synaptics Inc.'s ClearPad 2000 capacitive touch screen sensor. The teardown estimate did not include expenses beyond hardware, such as software, manufacturing cost, accessories or royalties.

Unlocked, the Nexus One handset sells for $530. New T-Mobile customers can buy it for $179 when they commit to a data plan.

Materials to build the Apple 3GS cost $179, iSuppli reported in June. The 3GS sells for $199 with a data plan or $599 unlocked.

The Nexus One appears to be attracting new commitments from suppliers and from Google itself. Google's Andy Rubin, who leads the search company's mobile phone operation, said at the Consumer Electronics Show last week that the company's next handset will be aimed at enterprise users. According to media reports, it may have a physical keyboard.

Also at the CES event, Qualcomm's chief executive Paul Jacobs said his firm expects to support Google's Chrome operating system. Chrome would likely be a good fit for the two firms, because Qualcomm's speedy 1 GHz Snapdragon processor is the hardware heart of the Nexus One.

The Snapdragon, said iSupply, gives the Nexus One "processing muscle -- most notably high-definition 720p video playback." iSuppli noted that the Snapdragon is already being used in Toshiba's TGO1, but added that the Nexus One's 2.1 Android operating system is particularly well suited to use the processor's fast performance.

The market research firm also cited the Nexus One for its "signature" 3.7-inch AM-OLED display.

"With the Nexus One, Google has taken the most advanced features seen in recent smart phone designs and wrapped them up into a single sleek design," said iSuppli's Kevin Keller, in a statement. "This gives the Nexus One the most advanced features of any smart phone ever dissected by iSuppli's Teardown Analysis Service -- a remarkable feat given the product's BOM is similar to comparable products introduced during the past year."

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