Monday, June 15, 2009

Palm Pre components and surprise factors

Last week, iSuppli posted a preliminary cost analysis of Palm Pre, the most touted iPhone-killer. iSuppli simply did an excellent job. The components used in Palm Pre shows that the design of the device is very much similar to that of the iPhone.

Source: iSuppli Corporation

It uses integrated circuits of TI, Samsung, Qualcomm, and Sony. As you can observe, the display is the costliest of all components. It costs around $40. In iPhone also, display is the costliest with an estimated cost of $60.

There are two surprising components in the design. The power management of Qualcomm baseband processor is done by Maxim's MAX8695 and not Qualcomm's PM6650, an obvious choice for power management with Qualcomm chipsets. The second surprise is the 8GB MoviNAND flash memory of Samsung, instead of the usual MLC NAND memory. The second choice seems to be justified by MoviNAND's high performance, faster development time(time-to-market factor), and easy integration with other components. While the first design choice still surprises me. I do believe the designers should have had a good reason to choose Maxim's power management component. I just cannot guess.

Perhaps a more difficult guess to make is whether Palm Pre, the Kryptonite would eventually throw out iPhone, the Superman.

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