IBD: Apple iPhone SE Teardown - Skyworks Gains


"Chipmakers Qualcomm (QCOM) and Qorvo (QRVO) topped content in Apple’s (AAPL) newly launched iPhone SE, but Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) and Texas Instruments (TXN) gained new chips in the 4-inch smartphone, a Chipworks teardown found Thursday.

Apple’s iPhone SE is “the most powerful 4-inch phone ever,” the smartphone giant says. It was unveiled March 21 and began shipping today, the same day Tesla Motors (TSLA) began taking orders for its less expensive Model 3.

Researchers with Chipworks and iFixit classified the iPhone SE, the first to not have a number in its name, as the iPhone 6S squeezed into the iPhone 5S body.

“There are very few new parts, but that hardly means there is no innovation,” Chipworks wrote. But Apple engaged in “serious economical re-use” of many radio-frequency (RF) chips, excepting the Skyworks and Texas Instruments additions.

New to the iPhone SE, Skyworks gained a power amplifier module and Texas Instruments earned a power management chip. Privately-held Toshiba and Epcos made new appearances with a flash-memory chip and an antenna switch module.

A new power management chip could also be an Apple-Dialog Semiconductor mash-up, Chipworks wrote.

Qualcomm and Qorvo each have four chips in the phone, leading Skyworks, which contributed three iPhone SE chips. Broadcom (AVGO) and Cirrus Logic (CRUS) each supplied two chips. Texas Instruments, NXP Semiconductor (NXPI) and InvenSense (INVN) all brought one apiece to the table.

The A9 processor was supplied by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM), in this particular phone. But Apple dual-sourced the A9 in the iPhone 6S, splitting share between Taiwan Semiconductor and Samsung.

Samsung reportedly has since said that it would yield the A10 processor to Taiwan Semiconductor. The A10 processor is scheduled to make its debut in the iPhone 7, likely to be launched in September."