Old Cellphone Teardown


This is an old cellphone made by a local small company in China more Than 12 years ago. It’ has a slide cover which was quite fashionable at that time. And this added function also made it more complicated in form compared with normal cellphones. For safety concerned the battery is removed and won’t be showed in the teardown process.


1, screen
2, Front shell – Plastic
3, Rear upper cover – Plastic
4, A large piece of copper, I think, is to simulate electrical grounding – Copper&Plastic
5, Rear motherboard, including two card slots – Silicon&Plastic&Metal
6, Front key board – Plastic
7, Cover of vibration motor – Plastic
8, Camera – Glass&Plastic&Metal
9, Rear lower cover – Plastic
10, middle cover 1 – Plastic
11, Warranty bar code – Paper
12, Digital keyboard touch receiving point – Plastic&Metal
13, Key cap of numeric keyboard – Plastic
14, Sliding mechanism – Aluminum&Steel
15, middle cover 2 – Plastic
16, front main board, with two sound generating units and a vibration motor – Silicon&Plastic&Metal


1, IEE K4H – Can’t find
2, MT6301n – Touch screen control
3, QOG7J – Can’t find
4, MAZ ZT22 – Can’t find
5, memsic c62020 – Acceleration sensor
6, A4ZHE TKZC – microprocessor
7, MT63058N – Power management IC


1, Needle nose pliers
2, Curved mouth clip
3, bolt driver

The design elements I found

Before I teardown this cellphone I thought it should have a more conposed inside. But it turned to be a product between a simple combined device and a highly customized cellphone that we see today. It makes great sense as the age of personal devices were just about to start at the time it was developed. It’s a slide phone and the sliding mechanism inside is very small but smart. The designer used only two flat springs to enable the movement. It all happened in a sheet of metal with a thickness less than 2 mm. This is a good example of how technology could help improving the final outcome of products and even made something impossible become real. Another thing I found was when I tried to tear it down, there were two screws that were half covered by other parts. I was trapped by these two for a couple of minutes until I realized the designer was somehow telling me these two screws were not to be removed at that disassembling stage. Then I sure found another two hidden screws that works. This reminds me of some things I learned called Design for Assembling. We once visited the factory of Daikin and the manager told us they use different colors and shapes(Square, circle, triangle) for plugs to make it impossible for workers to assemble them in wrong ways. This should be Design for teardown but sure is also something we designers could help people to avoid a lot of problems.

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