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Gadget components
March 26, 2008 5:16 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know a website that takes apart new gadgets to see the components?

In an effort to invest in component makers, I'm curious to see what components certain companies are using. For example, who is Apple buying their flash memory to supply iPhone etc. Some people enjoy tearing these gadgets apart only to display their insides. However, I can't find a website that does it consistently for a slew of gadgets.
Thanks
posted by erd0c to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
iSuppli
posted by bloggboy at 5:18 PM on March 26, 2008


Portelligent is the main teardown service I know of, but they are expensive. See www.teardown.com for some of their published articles, though. They were recently acquired by CMP, who also do teardowns on their EE Times and TechOnline sites.

The main place I know of to see free ones is the "Under the Hood" section of TechOnline, which includes teardown videos too. The CMP mechatropolis.com Wiki Teardowns (registration required) have some as well.
posted by gemmy at 5:36 PM on March 26, 2008


I don't think you're going to learn anything useful this way, at least useful for investment purposes.

A good investment is a company that's profitable. But large gross sales doesn't guarantee high net profit. A lot of companies have gone broke while shipping huge volume at a loss. So just because a given company's components are widely used, that doesn't mean it's necessarily a good investment.
posted by Class Goat at 5:58 PM on March 26, 2008


A good investment is a company that's profitable. But large gross sales doesn't guarantee high net profit.

Are you suggesting that an analysis of revenue growth is irrelevant for securities analysis? It's kinda hard for a company to generate a profit if it isn't making sales. Especially if it's a hardware manufacturer with significant fixed costs.

Every serious investor in the tech space spends a good deal of time analyzing the components of popular products. I don't focus on the space, but I've seen a few reports from Wall Street equity analysts that include tear-downs of products like the iPod. Unfortunately, these are usually only available to the brokerage firms' clients. If you have an account with a big brokerage firm, you may have some level of access.

Also, listen to the quarterly earnings call, it's likely that Wall Street analysts will ask about various product mandates during the Q&A session. If you miss calls, you can usually listen to replays on the company's investor relations website. And sometimes websites like seekingalpha.com will produce transcripts (another thing that your broker may be able to track down for you, as these are available via many subscription-services).
posted by mullacc at 6:59 PM on March 26, 2008


Are you suggesting that an analysis of revenue growth is irrelevant for securities analysis?

Of course not. But taking apart iPods to see what's inside them isn't going to tell you that. If you want to know about revenue growth, you go read the 10-Q's and 10-K's that publicly traded companies are required to file with the SEC.
posted by Class Goat at 7:22 PM on March 26, 2008


Q's and K's don't usually give you the kind of customer-by-customer, product-by-product information that the OP is interested in. And Q's and K's don't give much information about what a company will try to do in the future. SEC filings are the basic building blocks for analysis, but an investor looking for an edge will seek greater insight.
posted by mullacc at 8:30 PM on March 26, 2008


A good place to start would be homebrew sites which focus on whatever platform you're interested in. Say, for an iPhone, you should look around on sites which cover iPhone homebrew/hacks. Same with any other gadgets. You might have to look around a bit, but you'd generally get info before the mainstream blogs cover it.
posted by cyanide at 9:16 PM on March 26, 2008


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