First Faux Apple 3G iPhone Teardown

I love teardowns — taking apart consumer electronic devices to find what public company components are hiding inside — and I’m doubly fond of fantasy teardowns. What are those? That’s when analysts tear apart, metaphorically speaking, a product that hasn’t shipped and isn’t available yet, trying to come up with a best guess as the components therein. Yes, it’s silly, but the suppositions can be decent.

We are seeing some of that right with Apple’s upcoming 3G iPhone. Given that Walt Mossberg tells us it’s coming in June, analysts are wasting no time doing fantasy phone teardowns. Here is one from Friedman, Billings Ramsey quoted by Eric over at Barron’s today:

  • Broadcom (BRCM), he says, keeps the touch screen controller socket in the 3G iPhone and a potential iPod Touch refresh design. He also thinks the company could have a Bluetooth/WiFi combo chip in the next iPod Touch.
  • Marvell (MRVL), Berger says, likely keeps the 802.11 WiFi socket in the iPhone, but may have lost the WiFi socket in the Touch to the Broadcom combo chip mentioned above.
  • Infineon (IFX) and Samsung “remain overall device winners,” he says. Berger says Infineon may be providing the 3G baseband chip, the RF transceiver, a power management chip. (The company supplies the EDGE baseband chip in the current iPhone.) Samsung is likely to provide the application processor, as it does in the current phone.
  • NXP and Texas Instruments (TXN) “also have peripheral smaller sockets in the 3G iPhone,” he writes.

From the above, Infineon looks like the big winner. Could the stock eventually get a lift from its current languishing status, not far from its lows and down almost 40% this year? Granted, Infineon has big issues, like a money-losing memory subsidiary, but once/if investors look through that to a (reputed) position on the 3G iPhone, we could see a speedy lift in the stock.