We have been using smartphones from quite a while but on the whole have we ever given a thought as to how these phones are actually made? Right from the conception of the idea to the final outcome of the product, the journey is a steep mountain to climb. Read on to understand the entire process.
When a company decides to make a new model, it already has older models and a lot of previous research so they do not need to start from scratch. All they have to do is fine tune the older model through the feedback of the users or the experts in this field and at the same time insert the new trends and technologies. All the shortcomings of the previous models are taken care of and with new innovation, the technology is injected into the latter model.
Smartphones are manufactured by the following 6 steps:
1. Making of prototype
The idea is conceived in the board room meeting and after considering various options, the affirmation is passed to the research and development lab. The research team commences with a prototype which is in fact a non working one where the aesthetics is the first thing that has to be considered. This model is passed on to the relevant people so that they may give their opinion to make any changes if required. After the looks of the model are zeroed on, the inside working kit of the handset is worked upon.
The rein of this ride is then handed over to the electronics engineering team and thus it is here the decision is taken on the processor and memory along with other specifications for the handset. The matching display screen and the required battery potential are selected. The front and rear cameras are also not missed out. The device is then armed with the selected components and checked for the working performance. After this, if the decision making team is reasonably satisfied with the working then this handset is sent back to the higher ups for their approval.
Most of world’s smartphone manufacturing today is being done in China.
2. Software Installation
The software team steps in now to breathe life into the handset. It is basically pre-decided on the operating system that is to be loaded into the phone. It is utmost necessary that the hardware that is the part played by the electronics team is compatible for the smooth functioning of the operating system. It is checked here by many experts in their own manner for the system to be working according to the expectation.
The selected design, loaded with hardware and software is then readied for mass production. At this juncture it is often difficult to go back and alter the already approved working prototype.
3. Testing Phase
Before the production begins, the handset is rigorously tested for quality, performance and other parameters. They are tested in terms of both hardware and software. Various tests like drop test, bend test and water tests are carried out to check its performance.
4. Mass Production
When the final prototype is ready, then it is time for mass production. Internal components may either be manufactured in house or outsourced.
Most of the times this information of a new model being launched by the company is leaked to the masses and this could be both helpful or otherwise. Helpful, because it popularizes the ‘to be launched’ handset and gives publicity. And a drawback because this gives a chance for critics to find out faults in the still to be produced models and thus drop down the ratings.
The mass production of the quality passed model commences. This could be at the manufacturers own plant or can also be outsourced to other manufacturers also known as original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to be made as per their instructed quality and standards. The smartphones are also assembled in this process.
Foxconn is one of the major companies which manufactures devices on behalf of some of the top companies like Apple, Xiaomi, Nintendo, Amazon, etc. It has large manufacturing plants in many countries, the biggest being in Shenzhen, China.
You can learn assembling and disassembling of iPhones and other smartphones by enrolling into cell phone repair training conducted by Prizm Institute.
During mass production, smartphones usually are codenamed to avoid leak of information related to specification and design.
When the handset passes all the tests, then it is sent for packaging. The handset along with accessories and user manual are put into the box ready to be shipped.
The final stage of the entire process is shipment. These packaged phones are then dispatched to distributors, stockists and retailers across the globe and then from these retailers it is the end customer who picks up the handset.
So this is the entire process of making of a smartphone. Please let us know your opinion in the comments below.
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