SAN FRANCISCO—Apple Inc.'s sixth generation iPod nano features chips supplied by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Toshiba Corp., Cypress Semiconductor Corp., Cirrus Logic Inc. and STMicroelectronics NV, among others, according to a teardown analysis conducted by market research firm iSuppli Corp.
The 8-Gbyte version of latest nano, released earlier this month, features a touch screen and carries a bill of materials (BOM) cost of $43.73, according to iSuppli's analysis. The firm said the sixth-generation iPod nano has the second lowest BOM of any iPad ever, trailing only the fourth-generation nano, which had a BOM of $40.80.
"Instead of piling on features, as so many brands do with their latest products, Apple with the sixth-generation iPod has maintained or even removed some attributes in order to fit the form factor and function desired," said Andrew Rassweiler, director and principal analyst and teardown services manager for iSuppli, in a statement. "This has enabled Apple to offer the smallest iPod including a touch screen, while keeping component costs to a strict budget."
Inside the latest nano iSuppli found a touch screen controller chip supplied by Cypress. ISuppli said the chip represents a significant design win for Cypress, because Apple uses touch screen controller chips sold by Broadcom Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc. in its other touch-screen based products.
The teardown also revealed the existence of a MEMS accelerometer from STMicro, which supports the nano's pedometer function, iSuppli (El Segundo, Calif.) said.
The latest nano also features an audio codec, from Cirrus Logic, which "essentially owns this slot right now in Apple mobile devices," according to iSuppli.
ISuppli's teardown found 8 Gbytes of NAND flash supplied by Toshiba and 512 Mbits of mobile Double Data Rate DRAM supplied by Samsung. But the firm said Apple may employ other suppliers of these commodity memory parts.
ISuppli said the newest nano's lower BOM should enable Apple to generate higher margins on the device. Since the third generation of the nano line, the average cost to retail price ratio has been 33 percent, or roughly one third of the retail price. But the BOM of $43.73 and manufacturing cost of $1.37 equates to only about 30 percent of the newest Ipod nano's retail price, iSuppli said.
@Subra: "This leaves the product company to just interconnect chips together and put in software"
That is rather missing the point that the software *is* the product. Don't underestimate the and value-added that software brings to a product, or the effort required to develop it.
Yes; I am a software engineer!
Great Point eewiz ! The chip companies actually do all the innovative circuit design and integration (infact all these are demanded by companies such as Apple). This leaves the product company to just interconnect chips together and put in software. The chip companies are inturn squeezed on pricing for all their innovation !
Glad to read that the CYPRESS chip has got entry into IPOD. Over the years CYPRESS has been promoting its CAPSENSE technology and looks like it has borne fruit. CYPRESS's effort in configurable SOCs is also commendable.
Am always impressed by the profit margins Apple HW command. 43.73 + 1.37 + ~20 (Logistics+Retailer Margin) makes the total cost @ ~65 and they sell the 8GB version for 149$. Chip designers/companies gets peanuts and Apple gets all the glory and the money.
Apple always focus on the just 20 percent of the features which is used 80 percent of the time on any ipod and it makes it the best and it works simply always
When compared to any other products loaded with lots of features and we struggle to know how to use it.
As we have seen all along apple sells the looks more than anything. They aren't going beyond any great technical features but only simple and elegant looking electronic products that perform the basic functions. They can sell even a 1$ USB cable in cool white box for a price of 20$.
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