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Isuppli tears down the Galaxy Tab

It's just a big smartphone really
Tue Nov 02 2010, 10:04

ANALYST OUTFIT Isuppli has done a tear down of Samsung's Galaxy Tab GT-P1000 and decided that rather than it being a tablet it is just a large smartphone.

Looking at all the parts Isuppli said they added up to $205.22. This is significantly less than Isuppli's $264.27 estimate for the 16GB 3G version of Apple's Ipad.

However, the lower cost is largely the result of the Galaxy Tab's smaller and lower resolution display compared to the Ipad.

The outfit claims that Samsung did not try to match the Ipad on a feature-by-feature basis, and just knocked out a larger version of its Galaxy S smartphone. That is not necessarily bad, as the Ipad is just an Ipod Touch with a bigger screen, but it sounds disappointing.

Andrew Rassweiler, director, principal analyst and teardown services manager for Isuppli said that while the design approach makes the Galaxy Tab less expensive to produce than the Ipad 3G, it also results in a product that lacks the same usability.

The Galaxy Tab's screen resolution, size and technology are not at the same level as the Ipad. This is a critical difference, given the fact that the display is a key differentiating factor for the Ipad, he said.

The Galaxy Tab does have some features not found in the Ipad, including a gyroscopic Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) sensor, likely for use in gaming.

It also comes with a primary 3MP autofocus camera along with a 1.3MP front-facing or video conferencing camera. There is built-in support for Adobe's Flash to provide more universal web browsing, which is notably lacking from the iPad.

When the $9.35 manufacturing cost of the Galaxy Tab is added in, the combined materials and production cost amounts to $214.57. Given the fact that it is selling for £529.99 it appears that Samsung is making a huge margin and not trying too hard to beat Apple on price.

Rassweiler said that both the Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy S smartphone feature a Samsung Hummingbird 1GHz ARM-based CPU and an Infineon Technologies baseband processor that controls the wireless telephony and communications functions.

All that being the case, the Galaxy Tab is a functional mobile phone as well as tablet computing device, running 3G (UMTS/HSPA) in three frequency bands.

The Galaxy Tab has a 7-inch TFT LCD display with 1,024x600 resolution. In contrast, the Ipad has a larger 9.7-inch display with 1,024x768 resolution. While also having a TFT LCD display, the Ipad adds In-Plane Switching technology, which enhances the viewing angle and picture quality.

Isuppli estimates the cost of the touchscreen display subsystem in the Galaxy Tab at $57, while it reckons the Ipad screen costs $98. The screen is the most expensive part of a tablet, accounting for 27.8 per cent of the Galaxy Tab's total bill-of-materials (BOM) cost.

The memory subsystem, at a cost of $51, represents 24.9 per cent of the Galaxy Tab cost. It has 16GB of Multilevel Cell (MLC) NAND flash memory from SanDisk. It also has a Samsung multichip memory package combining 8Gb of MLC Flex-OneNAND, 4Gb of Double Data Rate (DDR) mobile DRAM and 1Gb of OneDRAM.

The mechanical and electromechanical components represent the third most expensive parts in the Galaxy Tab, at a cost of $15.22, or 7.4 per cent of the BOM.

The user interface subsystem costs $13.87, or 6.8 per cent of the total cost. This includes the gyroscope, a 3-axis device from STMicroelectronics. It also features a capacitive touchscreen controller from Atmel and an LVDS transmitter from Texas Instruments.

The Samsung supplied battery costs $10.60, or 5.2 per cent of the BOM. µ




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