iSuppli data signals change in flat-panel market
Sales numbers for flat-panel televisions distributed in the US may fall this year, for the first time on an annual basis, according to a forecast published by research firm iSuppli. Shipments are expected to decline to 37.1 million units, a five percent slide from the 39.1 million units that were shipped in 2011.
IHS says Amazon Kindle Fire costs 210 to make
Amazon's Kindle Fire is being sold at a loss to heat up competition with Barnes & Noble and Apple, IHS iSuppli estimated Friday. Based on a list of known and expected components, it believes the seven-inch mini tablet costs $209.63 in raw parts and manufacturing, or about $10 more than its $199 asking price. A high-quality IPS-based LCD at $87 is a large part of that cost, while adding the dual-core TI OMAP processor and other mainboard components pushes it up by another $70.40.
iSuppli says HTC Thunderbolt pricier than iPhone 4
HTC's Thunderbolt might be the most expensive phone ever to make and might explain the lack of a 4G iPhone, according to a new cost breakdown by iSuppli. Deciding to use an LTE-based 4G chipset from Qualcomm hiked the price by almost $40 and made it the most expensive phone the analysts had ever studied, at $262. If Apple had decided to go the same route, the price of an iPhone 4 on Verizon would have spiked over 23 percent to $211.10.
iSuppli and UBM estimate iPad 2 at 326 tops
Analysts have provided somewhat conflicting cost breakdowns for the iPad 2 that nonetheless both put the Motorola Xoom in a poor light. iSuppli said Apple's tablet should cost $323.35 in raw parts for a 32GB, Verizon (EVDO) version or $326.60 for its AT&T (HSPA) equivalent. The HSPA version needs chipsets with Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi separate from the Intel/Infineon cellular chip where the EVDO version uses an all-in-one Qualcomm chipset, much like in the Verizon iPhone.
iSuppli says Xoom costs 360 to make
iSuppli in a full version of its cost teardown for the Motorola Xoom claimed it was even more expensive than thought. It put the pure cost of the Android 3.0 tablet at $359.92, or nearly $40 more than the $320 estimated for a 3G iPad with the same 32GB of memory. The actual gap was likely to be wider still as the iPad cost came from April 2010 and would have decreased for Apple over the past year.
Motorola Xoom costs 275 to make, expensive vs iPad
Cost breakdowns of the Motorola Xoom have suggested that its price is disproportionately higher than what it costs to make. UBM TechInsights estimated on Monday that the Android 3.0 leader costs $278 in raw parts versus $235 for a similarly equipped 3G, 32GB iPad. The difference came even as Verizon charged $800 for the Xoom off-contract where its Apple counterpart cost just $730.
iSuppli shows Verizon iPhone costs 171.35 to make
Apple has managed to lower the cost of making the Verizon iPhone by a wide margin, iSuppli found in a new cost breakdown. While superficially similar, the CDMA version costs just $171.35 to build, or just $16.16 less than the AT&T model's $187.51. Many of the savings come from the new Qualcomm MDM6600, which includes its own GPS receiver and has saved Apple the cost of the separate Broadcom chip.
Nokia N8 cost matches iPhone despite lower price
Nokia's N8 costs just as much as an iPhone 4 to make despite wildly varying device prices, iSuppli estimated on Wednesday. The two smartphones were in a dead heat as the N8's parts and assembly were put at $187.47, or just four cents lower than Apple's phone. It came even as Nokia used a more advanced 12-megapixel camera, an AMOLED screen and HDMI output.
iPod nano seen costing 45 US to build
Apple's sixth generation iPod nano costs just a third of its selling price to make, iSuppli estimated in a cost breakdown today. The bill of materials and manufacturing for an 8GB iPod nano reach only $45.10. The device is the second least expensive iPod to make so far, being beaten only by the fourth generation $40.80 nano.
Study shows Apple iPad keeping majority for years
The iPad should keep a majority hold on the tablet market for at least the next two years, iSuppli said in a new estimate today. Apple's slate should get 74.1 percent of the market in 2010 and is still predicted to hold on to a dominating 61.7 percent of the market by 2012. Such a lead would come even with the entire Windows tablet PC market in play as well as a wave of new challengers expected to hit in 2011.
Analysts say BlackBerry Torch debut underwhelming
New estimates posted Monday have suggested that the launch of the BlackBerry Torch was modest [WSJ sub. required]. Researchers at both RBC Capital Markets and Stifel Nicolaus put the touchscreen slider's weekend sales at just 150,000 units, or well below the iPhone 4 debut several weeks earlier. The launch was US-only versus Apple's multi-country debut but was still unusually soft compared to earlier releases this year.
Android variety could overtake iPhone in 2 years
An aggressive estimate by iSuppli today has Android passing iOS for share by 2012. While Apple still has a comfortable total user base today, Google is accelerating quickly enough that it could claim 75 million active phones by 2012 where Apple would grow to just 62 million. That ratio could widen further in the following two years to where Android would have 22.8 percent share, at over 100 million phones, where iPhones and related devices would shrink in relative share to 15.3 percent.
Analysts see 26pc jump in netbook sales
Netbook sales are still expected to grow even in the face of the iPad possibly stealing business, a new study by iSuppli said today. Growth will have slowed from the breakneck pace of last year but should still see the mini notebooks grow by 25.5 percent to 209.5 million PCs. The prediction came that the gradual end to the worldwide economic slump wouldn't necessarily end sales of netbooks at the same time.
Suppliers struggle to meet demand
Apple's iPad supply problems have been blamed on touchscreen shortages, according to a Bloomberg report. Suppliers are allegedly running into problems meeting strong demand for the 9.7-inch displays utilized in the tablet device. The research firm iSuppli suggests the components are already sourced from three different companies including LG, Samsung, and Seiko Epson.
iSuppli sees iPad at 7m now, 14m in 2011
Apple could sell as many as 7.1 million iPads in 2010 alone, iSuppli estimated today. Analysts believed that a strong wave of early adopters and those simply drawn to a tablet design should be enough to push millions of iPads each quarter this year. It would be enough to at least temporarily overcome the lack of Adobe Flash and could actually be conservative if Apple upgrades features or cuts prices quickly, the study creators said.
Cellphone cams to reach over 5MP average by 2013
Cellphone cameras are on the verge of taking away significant sales of dedicated cameras for the first time, iSuppli said in a new estimate today. While the average camera on a phone had just 2.1 megapixels last year, that number is expected to more than double to 5.7 megapixels by 2013 and come close enough to full-size cameras that it cannibalizes entry-level still cameras. While resolution won't be the only factor, the analysts expect that new sensors, processing, flashes and other techniques will wipe out most of the existing quality gap.
iPhone to chew up flash, carry 35GB on average
Apple's iPhone plans this year could trigger shortages of flash memory for everyone, iSuppli says in a new study. The analyst group expects the average iPhone to carry over 35GB of storage after capacity upgrades across the line, or more than the 32GB maximum available today. Combined with a nearly 32 percent growth in iPhone shipments to 33 million, Apple's sheer dominance of NAND flash memory could lead to "periods of undersupply" in the rest of 2010.
Droid costs over $187 to build
An iSuppli teardown today reveals that the Motorola Droid is ultimately one of the most expensive smartphones to build in the current market. The Android handset has a materials cost of $179.11 and an assembly cost of $8.64, putting its pure manufacturing cost at $187.75. The number is higher than the $178.96 16GB iPhone 3GS and higher still than the Droid's fellow Android device, the $174.15 Nexus One.
Win Mobile usage to triple by 2013
In spite of common perception, Windows Mobile could take second place in the smartphone market in as little as four years, an iSuppli study predicted today. Analysts estimate that the phones shipped will triple from 27.7 million by the end of this year to 67.9 million in 2013, or enough to give it 15.3 percent of the industry behind Nokia's predicted 47.6 percent. Microsoft is expected to slip to third this year but to recover over time.
iPhone killer drive market
Displays commonly used in smart phones are facing increased sales following the upcoming release of so-called "iPhone killer" devices. According to iSuppli, worldwide shipments of displays ranging in size from 2.5-inches to 4.9-inches diagonally that feature QVGA quality pixel formating are projected to rise to 150 million units, and increase of 22 percent from 123 million units last year. These projections also indicate overall shipments of mobile displays will decrease by 11 percent this year.
iPhone and Flash Mem Spike
Apple's voracious use of NAND flash memory for iPhones could be the key spark in the entire industry over the next few years, iSuppli said today in a new study. The smartphone's existence is estimated to help multiply revenue in the business by 5.6 times from its 2008 numbers to $932.5 million by 2013. Much of this comes from Apple's insistence on stepping up the amount of memory with each upgrade. By pushing the capacity of the iPhone up by four from 8GB to 32GB, the company not only demands more memory itself but is indirectly pushing up the amount of memory others need to carry to remain competitive.
PC Biz to Drop in 2009
Sales of computers are poised to drop for the first time since the original technology crash of 2001, iSuppli said in a study today. The research team had originally thought shipments would grow a very slight 0.7 percent in spite of the economic crash but are now set to drop 4 percent year-over-year to 287.3 million computers in 2009. The decline isn't as severe as the 2001 drop, which shrank the market by 5.1 percent, but is seen as more significant as it doesn't come on the back of "inflated" spending, as it did eight years earlier.
SSD Notebooks Hurt
The economic crunch is making a major impact on the viability of solid-state drives in notebooks, according to new research from iSuppli. As prices for the NAND flash memory that form the heart of these drives have in some cases more than doubled -- 128 percent for a 2GB chip -- the costs for the SSDs themselves have gone up proportionately, making it difficult or occasionally impossible to offer an SSD option in a given notebook. The jump is the result of a known shortage triggered by the economy, as companies producing memory deliberately cut production to raise prices and save money.
iPhone 3GS iSuppli Costs
Apple's newest iPhone actually costs slightly more to make than the older version in spite of the more modest update, iSuppli says. The iPhone 3GS' total bill of materials amounts to $178.96 for a 16GB model, or slightly more than the previous $174.33 of the 8GB iPhone 3G. Some of the cost difference is attributed to recent rises in the prices of NAND flash memory; although 16GB costs less to make than it did a year earlier, a small rebound due to economy-driven supply cutbacks means Apple has had to absorb some costs to double its storage.
Palm Pre Final Cost Study
The Palm Pre may cost significantly more to make than first anticipated and has surprising similarity to the iPhone's supply chain as it's existed in the past, according to a post-launch cost breakdown by iSuppli. Originally thought to cost $138 in raw manufacturing and parts, the smartphone is now estimated to cost at least $140 and as much as $160. Much of the price is attached to the 3.1-inch Sony multi-touch LCD, which with its Cypress controller costs about $40.60.
iSuppli on Netbook Cooloff
Despite currently strong interest, the netbook industry is likely to cool off sharply in as little as a year, an iSuppli estimate said today. The research predicts that netbook shipments are likely to surge 68.5 percent in 2009 versus the year earlier but that this growth rate will be cut almost in half to 39.6 percent in 2010 and by two thirds to 13.1 percent in 2013. The growth will still be relatively strong as each figure builds on the earlier year's numbers, according to principal PC analyst Matthew Wilkins, but shows the rapid expansion of 2008 quickly tapering off.
Palm Pre Cost Breakdown
The Palm Pre will cost substantially less to build than the iPhone 3G did when it was new, according to a pre-launch cost breakdown by iSuppli. While the company doesn't have full access to the parts Palm is using, its estimates put the pure cost of assembling the first webOS phone at $138. The multi-touch screen is expected to be the most expensive part at $39.51, while the phone's Texas Instruments OMAP processor -- touted as significantly faster than the iPhone's Samsung chip -- costs just $11.
Kindle 2 Cost Breakdown
An iSuppli cost breakdown today of Amazon's Kindle 2 reveals that the e-book reader ultimately costs a relatively small amount more to build than an iPhone, or roughly half the actual $359 price. Where an iPhone 3G cost $174.33 to make when new, the Kindle 2 costs $185.49 after factoring in both the raw parts as well as assembly. The most expensive component is E-Ink's 6-inch digital paper display, which by itself costs $60; the screen is needed both to provide a natural feel but to let users read even when the unit is otherwise powered down.
T-Mobile G1 Cost Teardown
T-Mobile's G1 phone costs the carrier and its build partner HTC significantly less to make than its Apple rival, researchers at iSuppli conclude. The firm estimates that the raw material cost of a G1 amounts to $143.89 and that the single largest cost is the $28.49 baseband hardware, which represents both the main CPU as well as the cellular link. The 3.2-inch touchscreen is next at $19.67 while the camera ($12.13) and the RF/power amp for the 3G connection ($9.84) stand at third and fourth place respectively.
iPhone 3G geared for gains
Despite the iPhone 3G's more modern wireless communication standards, arguably thinner design, and inclusion of GPS, its overall cost of manufacture has dropped just over $50, according to iSuppli. The company's Teardown Analysis Service reveals that the device is geared towards cutting costs, while increasing worldwide presence, rather than simply filling the iPhone with the latest and greatest. The iPhone 3G is assessed at $174.33, almost exactly the predicted $173 issued in June.
Global PC shipments
Despite tough overall economic conditions, the market for personal computers remained strong in the first quarter of 2008 according to iSuppli. Global PC unit shipments rose to 69.9 million units in the first quarter, up 12.1 percent from 62.4 million in the first quarter of 2007. Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Acer Inc. retained the top-three rankings with no change from the previous quarter. HP boosted first-quarter global PC shipments by 23 percent over the same quarter in 2007, to reach 13.2 million units. Dell in the first quarter of 2008 expanded its market share position by half a percentage point compared to the fourth quarter of 2007, at 15.4 percent, with worldwide shipments of 10.8 million units.
iSuppli Flash Order Drop
iSuppli today said it predicts a major drop in orders for NAND flash memory largely due to Apple. While the research group originally expected the value of orders to climb by 27 percent to peak at nearly $17.9 billion, it now estimates that growth to reach just $15.2 billion, or to grow by just a third at 9 percent. The overall drop is credited to reduced spending by US buyers unable to afford portable media players and other consumer electronics through defaults on subprime mortgages and the ripple effect it creates elsewhere in the world.
Low margin on Apple TV
Apple is currently making little to no money on each Apple TV sold, a teardown analysis suggests. The research firm iSuppli has conducted a estimate of the manufacturing costs of the new 40 and 160GB set-tops, and found that after Apple's $70 price cut, the 40GB Apple TV has a margin of just 10 percent, while the 160GB version has a more reasonable 29 percent. Apple normally has product margins closer to 50 percent, and even this does not account for secondary costs such as marketing or distribution.
PMP Market Flat in 2008
This year will be the first that the world's dedicated portable media player market will show clear signs of having neared or reached its peak, according to a new study published by iSuppli. While growth in 2007 was already cooling off compared to the rush of early years, having edged 8 percent ahead year-over-year, 2008 will represent considerably slowed results. Predictions have sales income expanding by only 3.5 percent; the slowdown is expected to continue until at least 2011, where growth may be virtually non-existent at just 1 percent higher than it is today, according to the report. At least some of this can be attributed to lower-cost music players, which may sell in greater numbers but ultimately generate less revenue than in the past.