Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY)’s BlackBerry Z10 Spills Its Guts

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Even though the device has yet to make it stateside, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s BlackBerry Z10 has now spilled its guts. UBM TechInsights got their hands on a model and took it apart to get a peek inside. What component suppliers will get a boost if the device succeeds?

On the inside, the Z10 has some striking similarities to Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III and shares numerous components with the popular Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android device. QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) emerged as a key winner, scoring numerous important design wins in the device. The Z10’s processor was rumored to be a Qualcomm Snapdragon, but Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s BlackBerry opted not to officially confirm which chip it was using.

Source: UBM TechInsights.

A Snapdragon S4 chip was found inside, specifically the MSM8960 featuring an integrated baseband modem that was found in numerous high-end Android devices last year. The newer Snapdragon 600 and 800 series processors were unveiled just weeks before the Z10 was. These faster chips are currently sampling and devices sporting these chips aren’t expected until mid-2013, necessitating a slightly older yet very capable applications processor in the Z10 due to timing.

Qualcomm also won the audio codec, power management integrated circuit, and multimode RF transceiver. This is the same transceiver that’s found in the Galaxy S III as well as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s iPhone 5 and fourth-generation cellular iPad.

Bye, TI
The predominance of Qualcomm ingredients is a notable shift from previous generations of Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s BlackBerry hardware, which frequently included a large number of components from Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ:TXN). For example, a TI OMAP 4430 processor powers the BlackBerry PlayBook. In the Z10, TI’s only notable win is the Wi-Fi combo chip. The shift away from TI comes as no surprise, as the chip maker has already publicly exited the mobile chip sector amid intense competition and the broader trend toward increased integration within OEMs.

Other component vendors include Samsung for both the 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of NAND flash storage, Avago Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO) for a pair of power amplifier modules, and Synaptics, Incorporated (NASDAQ:SYNA) for the capacitive touchscreen microcontroller, among others.

In many ways, the Z10’s hardware resembles the Galaxy S III on the inside and the iPhone 5 on the outside, since the device takes clear external design cues from Cupertino.

How low can you go?
UBM TechInsights pegs an initial estimate of the total bill of materials, or BOM, at $154. The Z10 is expected to carry an unsubsidized retail price point of $600, implying a hardware gross margin of 74% before incorporating costs related to software development, licensing, marketing, and distribution.

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