Qualcomm Inc. was again the biggest supplier of semiconductors to Apple Inc. for its newly released iPhone 6 Plus, grabbing a whopping $20 to $22 worth of components for the smartphone, according to a teardown analysis by iFixit.
Other companies that also scored big wins in the redesigned Apple smartphone include Skyworks Solutions Inc., Avago Technologies and NXP Semiconductor. The system-on-a-chip processor in the iPhone 6 was designed by Apple but Elpida Memory supplied the memory while Qualcomm contributed the LTE modem as well as the RF transceiver. Qualcomm’s contribution to the smartphone went up from $17 to $18 in the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c, according to Sterne Agee analyst Vijay Rakesh.
“The big winners are Avago, Skyworks and NXP as expected with content up 30 to 90 percent from prior iPhone models,” Rakesh said in a report. “Also Qualcomm gained more carrier aggregation and envelope tracking content on the iPhone 6. We would note this bodes well for the RF suppliers as new CA plus ET capabilities imply need for more filters and PADs.”
Many other semiconductor companies also gained spots for their components in the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 plus. The iFixit teardown analysis shows Triquint Semiconductor supplied the power amplifier module for the device while InvenSense provided the gyroscope and accelerometer “combo”. RF Micro devices provided the antenna switch module while SK Hynix supplied the 16GB NAND flash.
The other winners include Broadcom, which supplied the touchscreen controller, and Texas Instruments, which provided the touch transmitter. The iPhone 6 also include Cirrus Logic’s audio codec, the NFC booster IC from AMS and Murata’s Wi-Fi module. NXP supplied many other components, including the microcontroller based on ARM Cortex-M3 and the NFC module. Dialog Semiconductor teamed up with Apple to supply the power management IC.
iFixit in its teardown analysis said it gave the iPhone 6 a score of 7 out of 10, describing this as “an improvement over the iPhone 5s” for the following reasons:
- Continuing the trend from the iPhone 5 series, the display assembly comes out of the phone first, simplifying screen repairs.
- The battery is straightforward to access. Removing it requires a proprietary pentalobe screwdriver and knowledge of the adhesive removal technique, but is not difficult.
- The fingerprint sensor cable has been re-routed, fixing a significant reparability issue with the iPhone 5s and making the phone much safer to open. (On the 5s, the cable is easily torn if a user is not careful while opening the phone.)
Click here for the detailed teardown analysis and for a list of the component suppliers.