Breakdown of smartphone reveals mutual reliance

Anatomy of Huawei's latest model

Anatomy of Huawei P30 Pro

Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies, which is under U.S. sanctions, is the world’s second-largest smartphone maker in terms of sales. Huawei’s latest model uses 15 parts made by U.S. manufacturers, making up 16% of the total unit cost. If Huawei’s smartphone production drops as a result of being unable to use these parts, a wide range of companies in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong will be affected.

Breakdown of parts used in Huawei P30 Pro (estimated cost)

Total cost:
Total number of parts:
U.S.A $59.36
15 parts
China $138. 61
80 parts
Japan $83.71
869 parts
South Korea $28
562 parts
Taiwan $28.85
83 parts

Costly parts are multinational

Rank Parts Names and origins of makers Total cost per unit
1. Organic EL display BOE Technology (China) $84
2. DRAM Micron Technology (U.S.) $40.96
3. Application
HiSilicon Semiconductor (China) $30
flash memory
Samsung Electronics (South Korea) $28.16
5. Body panel Taiwan $20
6. Rear camera Sony (Japan) $15.15
7. Front camera Sony (Japan) $12.16
8. Large IC U.S. and Japan $9
9. Communication semiconductor Skyworks Solutions (U.S.) $8
9. Lithium-ion battery Amperex Technology of Hong Kong (TDK) $8
11. Rear camera Sony (Japan) $7.6
12. Communication semiconductor HiSilicon Semiconductor (China) $5.2
13. Fingerprint sensor China $5
14. ToF camera Sony (Japan) $4.76
15. Rear camera Sony (Japan) $3.04
16. Communication semiconductor Qorvo (U.S.) $3
16. Antenna switch Japan $3
16. Touch panel Alps Electric and Alps Alpine (Japan) $3
16. Body cover Taiwan $3
20. Antenna duplexer TDK, Taiyo Yuden and Kyocera (Japan) $2.75
21. Cover glass Corning (U.S.) $2.7
22. Touch panel Shenzhen Goodix Technology (China) $2.3
- Audio amp Cirrus Logic (U.S.) -
- MIPI switch Texas Instruments (U.S.) -
- Printed circuit board Compeq Manufacturing (Taiwan) -
- Filter Murata manufacturing (Japan) -
- Electronic compass Asahi Kasei (Japan) -
- Crystal oscillator Kyocera (Japan) -
- Crystal vibrator Seiko Epson and Nihon Dempa Kogyo (Japan) -
- Battery contact Hirose Electric (Japan) -

Note: Analyzed by Fomalhaut Techno Solutions. Only names of countries or regions are mentioned when suppliers' names are unavailable. There are parts whose costs differ though they have the same name. Roles of parts are mentioned in the online version.

Roles played by parts

Smartphones are symbolic of products produced via global supply chains. Huawei's latest model consists of 1,631 parts and their functions are mentioned below.

Organic EL display

BOE Technology Group (China)

A display that uses organic light-emitting diodes as pixels. Since the pixels themselves emit light, the display needs no back light and can therefore be made thin and light. This allows displays to be adopted to curved or bendable surfaces.


Micron Technology (U.S.)

Random access memory temporarily stores information needed when an operating system, app or other piece of software is executed. The more DRAM there is, the easier a device can smoothly switch from one program to another as both compete for storage.

Application processor (under DRAM)

HiSilicon Semiconductor (China)

A microprocessor that executes operating systems and apps on a smartphone. It is the heart of a smartphone like the central processing unit is in personal computers. Most application processors use design information developed by Arm Holdings of Britain. These include Qualcomm's Snapdragon and Apple's A12 Bionic.

NAND-type flash memory

Samsung Electronics (South Korea)

A semiconductor capable of storing data even with the power turned off. Smartphones use flash memory to store photos and apps. These chips can be densely packed, but the speed of reading and writing is extremely slow compared to DRAM.


Sony (Japan)

Many smartphones have multiple rear cameras with different features so that artificial intelligence can work some image processing magic. Whites can be clipped, and crushed shadows can be prevented.

Lithium-ion battery

Amperex Technology (Hong Kong)

A battery that can be charged, discharged into a load and recharged many times because lithium ions move between the positive and negative electrodes. Lithium-ion batteries are widely used due to their relatively long life; they can be recharged for years. In smartphones, these power packs are also called lithium polymer batteries.

Fingerprint sensor


These discern fingerprint patterns by detecting the concavity and convexity of fingerprints. There are different types of fingerprint sensors, such as capacitive sensors, which make use of differences in the current of electricity between contact and noncontact points, ultrasonic sensors and optical sensors.

Antenna duplexer

TDK, Taiyo Yuden and Kyocera (Japan)

A device used for bidirectional communications. As transmit and reception frequencies are different, a filter is used as a block for the switch. Dielectric filters were used in smartphones but have been replaced with surface acoustic wave filters due to the adoption of high-frequency waves. The device is simply called a duplexer.

Electronic compass

Asahi Kasei (Japan)

A device that detects direction using a magnetic sensor. These devices not only detect magnetic strength but also show direction.

Global shares of core parts

Huawei uses components made by companies with high global market shares for major parts. If the parts are made by U.S. makers or the market values are more than 25% comprised of U.S.-derived technologies, Huawei must find parts from other makers.

Global market share of NAND flash memory chips (unit basis)

Source: IHS Markit of Britain

Lithium-ion batteries for mobile phones (unit basis)

Source: Techno Systems Research of Japan

Fingerprint sensors for smartphones (unit basis)

Source: Fomalhaut Techno Solutions of Japan

Printed circuit boards of world's top 3 manufacturers (unit basis)

Source: Fomalhaut Techno Solutions of Japan

CMOS sensors (including for devices other than smartphones, unit basis)

Source: IHS Markit of Britain

Accelerometers for smartphones (unit basis)

Source: Fomalhaut Techno Solutions of Japan

Organic EL display shipments (including panels for devices other than smartphones; as percentage of global market)

Source: IHS Markit of Britain

Operating system shipments (as percentage of global market)

Source: IDC of U.S.