Nikkei Electronics has acquired and started breaking down the "PV150," which was jointly developed and manufactured by Sharp Corp. and Danger, Inc. and released from a US mobile phone carrier T-Mobile USA, Inc. on April 25, 2007 ( part 1 ).

The PV150 is a kind of PDA type mobile phones (smart phones), which T-Mobile USA markets under a brand name of "Sidekick iD" mainly targeting young people. This smart phone is positioned as a beginner model with some advanced functionalities removed from the predecessor "PV200 (Sidekick 3)," which was also manufactured by Sharp and released in July 2006, and marketed at a low $99.99 (USD) including 2-year service subscription.

What has changed from the PV200 on surface is the "bumpers" covering the both sides of the chassis (the gray components in the photo). They are made of soft resin and can be removed easily. T-Mobile USA also provides optional bumpers in different colors packed with a rear surface cover for $29.9 as replaceable components so users can enjoy "changing outfits."

We found screws that hold the casing cover together under the bumpers. The chassis opened when we removed four screws on the upper surface, one on the rear surface and two that nail the LCD display. Most components were mounted on the single main substrate. As far as we could see on the front surface, the modules that could be removed from the substrate were the components around the trackball and the switches around the speaker/10-key pad.

動画Breaking down $100 smart phone (part 2) (about 2 min. 16 sec.)
You need Windows Media Player to play the movie
Click the play button

Powered by BPtv

Overview of the PV150. When opened by rotating the LCD panel, a QWERTY full keyboard shows up. The "bumpers" (gray parts on both upper and bottom sides of the body) made of soft resin can be removed easily and "changed like an outfit." The display is a 2.4-inch, 240 x 160 pixel resolution panel capable of displaying about 65,000 colors. The main unit measures 64 x 130 x 23 mm and weighs 176 g.

Under the bumpers are 6-lobe screws that hold the casing covers together.

Two 6-lobe screws holding the display can be found when you rotate the display. The display module can be detached by loosening these screws.

The main unit and the display are connected through a connector integrated with a metal anchor. The display's rotary axis is a hollow cylinder, through which a flexible cable runs. The flexible cable is wound slightly from the beginning.

With the upper casing cover removed. Most surface area of the substrate is covered with dome switches for the QWERTY full keyboard.

Switches around the cross keypad and module components around the trackball are connected to the main substrate with flexible cables.

The trackball module is fitted by snapping a plastic frame into the main substrate. The interfaces soldered on the substrate are, from the top, power supply, mini USB and headphone ports. There is no memory card slot. The predecessor PV200 was equipped with a Bluetooth module at the area framed in square on the upper left of the substrate pattern.