UBM TechInsights said that in a tear-down analysis of BlackBerry’s recently announced Z10, “the one thing that immediately stood out to us…was the number of ‘familiar’ components we saw”.
It noted that a number of the components used in the smartphone are the same as used in Samsung’s Galaxy product line – including the baseband/application processor, which is the same Qualcomm-made silicon used in the South Korean vendor’s flagship Galaxy SIII with LTE support.
UBM TechInsights said the processor is manufactured using a process which “makes for a power-efficient processor, a necessity considering the battery requirements of LTE-enabled handsets”.
Indeed, Qualcomm was named as “the big design winner”, also providing power management technology (also used in the SIII LTE and Galaxy Tab 2), audio codec (SIII LTE), and GSM/WCDMA/LTE transceiver (SIII LTE and fouth-generation iPad).
In addition to the common parts shared with Samsung devices, Samsung itself has supplied components for the Z10. The company is providing RAM (2GB) and Flash (16GB) memory modules.
With Qualcomm having become a major winner, Texas Instruments – formerly a key supplier to RIM – has been “muscled out”. The Z10 includes just one TI product, an integrated Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM radio module.
The report concluded: “It’s not certain if these decisions the designers made on what semiconductors, ICs and other modules to use were by design or by accident but based on the relative success of the Samsung Galaxy S3, it isn’t a bad model to draw from.”
Of course, while the two devices may share similar hardware specifications, the key difference is in the software: while Samsung has adopted Android for the Galaxy SIII, BlackBerry has gone its own way with the BlackBerry 10 platform – and it is on this that its product differentiation hinges.