iSuppli Breaks down the Palm Pre
We know that Palm built the Pre phone, but who made its guts and brains? According to research firm iSuppli that distinction goes to Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, Sony, and Samsung Electronics Co, the leading component suppliers for the device. iSuppli cracked up the phone to see what’s going on inside.
Among the highlights:
* The Pre uses an advanced Low-Temperature Polysilicon LCD display. The display, made by Sony (although Palm may get such displays from others too) is a 16-million color LCD.
* The touch screen controller chip is an integrated circuit from Cypress Semiconductor.
* Its applications processor portion centers on TI’s OMAP3430 applications processor
* Its wireless interface portion revolves around the Qualcomm MSM6801A baseband processor.
* Elpida was identified as the supplier of its SDRAM.
* Pre makes use of Samsung’s flash memory.
Andrew Rassweiler, director and principal analyst of iSuppli’s “teardown services” said Palm took a more expensive approach to build the Pre than other iPhone-like smartphones.
Most of the so-called “iPhone killers” iSuppli has torn down keep costs down by having one — and only one — core silicon asset. However, this approach burdens a single processor with multiple functions, degrading performance. This Pre’s two-pronged solution may be more costly, but should yield a superior-performing smart phone.
Businessweek estimated that Palm spent more than $140, and perhaps as much as $160, to build its new Pre smartphone. At retail. It sells for $199, after a $100 rebate.