Market research firm ABI recently did a teardown analysis of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone, which was released in December. A sleek design powered by the latest Android operating system Ice Cream Sandwich, it offers many new features, including near field communications (NFC) capability. The ABI Research (News - Alert) teardown reveals that the Galaxy Nexus modem is constructed with the combination of a Via Telecom CDMA/EVDO Rev. A IC and a Samsung LTE baseband chip. According to ABI, this combination is now common for Samsung’s Verizon (News - Alert) phones.
However, the teardown shows that the Galaxy Nexus sports a new version of the LTE baseband chip. The new chip is estimated at nearly half the cost of the prior chip’s $23 price tag (News - Alert), says ABI’s teardown analysis. This type of cost reduction is an important milestone in securing the rapid migration to LTE throughout the world, said ABI.
Other chips identified by the ABI teardown include an applications processor from Texas Instrument, the OMAP4460, single chip GPS from CSR, single chip Wi-Fi/BT (News - Alert)/FM, and LTE power amplifier and GPS front-end from Avago. TI’s new 1.2 GHz application processor matches the performance of Samsung’s own 1.2 GHz Exynos, which was used in earlier handset designs. However, OMAP4460’s performance comes at the expense of consuming significantly more power in computational intensive tests, according to ABI analysis.
To get a hold over the growing Android (News - Alert) market, Samsung is entering 2012 with a variety of devices in its smartphone and tablets portfolio. It competes aggressively with Apple, which overtook Samsung in smartphone shipments in the last quarter of 2011, according to mobile research firm Juniper Research.
Meanwhile, International Data Corp.'s (IDC) latest worldwide mobile phone tracker quarterly report shows that global smartphone shipments grew massively last year as mobile handsets increased in capability and were made available at lower prices. On a full-year basis, total smartphone shipment volumes reached 491.4 million units in 2011, up from 304.7 million phones shipped in 2010, according to IDC report. That means, in 2011, smartphone shipments were 61.3 percent higher as compared to shipments in 2010.Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Rich Steeves