Product teardown is a process where engineers disassemble every component of a product and identify each part of its hardware and/or software. Through this method, engineers can identify and analyze expenses, technology, utility, and areas for improvement.
What are Product Teardowns? It might be more important to ask why they are done? Product teardowns are used in a variety of contexts. The most common applications of product teardowns are for market analysis and intellectual property (IP) infringement analysis.
When developing a new product for the marketplace, companies may utilize a product teardown service to further advance the capabilities of their product. Many companies utilize product teardowns to broaden their industry intelligence and create the best product for their customers. Through market analysis, companies analyze the current economic and market trends to establish the demographics of their target consumers.
When conducting a product teardown, engineers may go as far as creating a Bill of Materials (BoM), which is a comprehensive inventory of the materials, assemblies, and components necessary to manufacture the product.
Through this operation, businesses tend to benchmark themselves with their competitor(s). Typically, organizations will teardown their device as well as competing products to compare the design details and structures in a side-by-side manner. Companies can then determine what aspects of their product need to be enhanced to create competitive differentiation relative to rivals.
Market analyses also include a feature value analysis. This assesses what features may be most beneficial to the consumer. Such considerations in a feature value analysis may include assessing the target market preferences, such as simplicity, versatility, product design, and quality. Feature preferences influence how organizations package, establish and price their product. Through product teardowns, engineers may indicate areas for design improvement according to the customer’s desires and needs.
Design to value (DTV) methods in product teardowns assist in optimizing the product’s manufacturing costs. DTV techniques enable companies to improve their margins by reducing packaging costs, as well as increasing monetization potential through feature value analysis recommended product enhancements.
On the other hand, when a company/individual suspects a product may be infringing on their intellectual property, they may utilize a product teardown to confirm their suspicion before taking expensive and time-consuming legal actions. Product teardowns can be essential when analyzing the use of intellectual property. Teardowns can also allow businesses to ensure they aren’t infringing on other’s IPs.
IP infringement is the illegal process of using a patented method, product, system, service, or a registered trademark, copyright, or otherwise a trade secret without consent from the IP owner. IP infringement analysis is used to detect varying amounts of IP breaching.
Evidence of Use (EoU) analysis can provide a legal advantage in proving IP infringement in the marketplace. EoUs can take advantage of high-quality product teardown analyses in order to pave the way for a solid legal action against the infringer(s).
Product teardowns may be as simple as opening an everyday consumer product to reveal its internal components, but oftentimes, it is much more complicated.
More frequently, a teardown isa highly complex process that removes every relevant element from a product. For instance, disassembling a technological item may be strenuous, as engineers would be removing chips off the PCB board or delayering and identifying all material layersin, say, a Quantum Dot (QDot) TV display or a touchscreen in a smartphone.
If BOM analysis is required, engineers tend to use product information stickers throughout this process to assist in completing the Bill of Materials (BoM) in thorough detail. Such categories include:
- Product Details: Product Name and Target Customers
- Expenses: Retail, Labor, and Parts
- Manufacturing: Cost, Location, Methods, and Materials
- Utility: Production Volume and Expected Use
Some product teardowns can be technically very challenging, requiring highly sophisticated equipment and very experienced engineers to be able to reverse engineer the original designs. However, they are well worth the effort and expense when they are called for.
GHB Intellect has provided product teardown services to many other companies, but we are unable to reveal all of them due to confidentiality reasons. Below are a couple of sample projects at a high level. More such case studies can be found here. For further information about our capabilities, please contact us.
Teardowns are a common occurrence in the smartphone industry to advance cellular technologies. Companies oftentimes do this with their competitor’s smartphones to detect/prove IP infringement or compare hardware designs.
In a GHB Intellect case study, our engineers dismantled smartphones and documented the Bill of Materials and Evidence of Use charts for the client.
As another , GHB Intellect engineers coordinated a teardown of wireless docking stations. Through this case study, we performed teardown on wireless docking stations with Active Antenna Array and gathered information on its components and interfaces.
At GHB Intellect, product teardown is one of our specialties. In our engineering support department, we have deep-domain expertise and highly sophisticated lab equipment to enable thorough and high-quality reverse engineering and cost analyses.
GHB Intellect is a full-service intellectual property and engineering consulting firm with over a decade of experience. We provide consulting services ranging from product teardowns to IP monetization.
Contact GHB Intellect today to learn more about how we can help you with intellectual property.