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4-22: Qualcomm hints Apple new iPhone might use Intel modem; Apple iPhone SE has squeezed market share from local brands; Xiaomi and China Unionpay launches mobile payment service; etc.

Qualcomm hints Apple new iPhone might use Intel modem; No country in Latin America has reached the 1300MHz recommended by the International Telecommunications Union for 2015; Apple iPhone SE has squeezed market share from local brands; Xiaomi and China Unionpay launches mobile payment service; , China-based white-box players have been aggressively releasing inexpensive head-worn VR devices and home-care robots; etc.

Chipset

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said he is “assuming” a major Qualcomm customer (presumably Apple) will be giving modem orders to another company (presumably Intel). (Apple Insider, Bloomberg, CS, ZOL)
University of Wisconsin-Madison has devised a cheap method to make impressively fast and flexible silicon-based transistors. Their technique involves using beams of electrons to create reusable molds of the patterns they want, as well as a very, very tiny knife to etch minuscule trenches into those patterns. (Engadget, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 163)

flexible-transistor

MediaTek has announced its LinkIt development platform for RTOS and the platform’s first hardware development kit (HDK) based on MediaTek MT7687F Wi-Fi SoC. It offers developers the ability to create a range of IoT devices using one common software development kit, the MediaTek LinkIt SDK v3. (Digitimes, CC Time, Yahoo, EE Focus)

Battery

Instead of lithium, researchers at UC Irvine have used gold nanowires to store electricity, and have found that their system is able to far outlast traditional lithium battery construction. The Irvine team’s system cycled through 200,000 recharges without significant corrosion or decline. (Ubergizmo, Pop Science)

long-lasting-battery

A Barcelona-based company, Arkyne Technologies launches Bioo Lite, which uses the energy generated by photosynthesis to charge smartphones. Arkyne Technologies claims the pot allows up to three charges per day. (Digital Trends, 163, Indiegogo)

bioo-lite

Connectivity
5G Americas, the industry trade organization advocating for the continued advancement of mobile networks in precipitation of 5G networks, has determined that no country in Latin America has reached the 1300MHz recommended by the International Telecommunications Union for 2015. In fact, no Latin country has even reached half of this figure. (Android Authority, Market Watch, 5G Americas, white paper)
Apple patent application “Audio class-complaint charging accessories for wireless headphones and headsets” suggesting the company is continuing work on a Lightning-equipped audio product some expect will replace wired EarPods if and when iPhone ships without a 3.5mm headphone jack. (Phone Arena, Apple Insider, USPTO, ChinaZ, Sohu)

apple-patent-audio-connector

Smartphones
Makers in the handset supply chains in Taiwan and China are becoming more conservative about building up inventories for parts and components due to intensifying competition in the China market as a result of the release of the Apple iPhone SE. It has squeezed market share from local brands, including Huawei, Xiaomi, vivo and OPPO. (Apple Insider, Digitimes, press, My Drivers, 25PP, TechWeb)
Microsoft has released its Q3 fiscal 2016 earnings report, revealing that it sold only 2.3 million Lumia phones in the quarter. Microsoft also revealed it had sold 15.7 million other phones (likely feature phones) during the same period. (Engadget, Microsoft, Pocket-Lint, GSM Arena, Sina, 163)
Xiaomi has announced plans to work with national bank card association China UnionPay to launch its own mobile payment service. (GSM Arena, Xinhuanet, Hexun, ZOL)
Alphabet has released its 1Q16 earnings report, showing strong year-over-year growth once again with USD20.25 billion in revenue leading to USD4.2 billion in net income for the quarter. (Android Central, Alphabet, 163, IT Home)

alphabet-1q16-financial-report

Acer Liquid Zest Plus is official – 5.5” HD display, MediaTek MT6735 processor, 13MP PDAF + 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 6.0, LTE, 5000mAh battery, USD250. (GSM Arena, NDTV)

acer-liquid-zest-plus

Lenovo subsidiary ZUK unveils Z2 Pro – 5.2” FHD Super AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 13MP OIS PDAF + 8MP cameras, 6GB RAM + 128GB storage / 4GB RAM + 64GB storage, LTE (VoLTE), fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, 3100mAh battery, CNY2699 (6GB RAM). (GSM Arena, My Drivers, TechWeb, Fonearena)

zuk-z2-pro

Micromax Canvas Spark 2 Plus is official in India – 5” FWVGA display, 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 5MP + 2MP cameras, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, 2000mAh battery,  INR3999. (Android Central)

micromax-canvas-spark-2-plus

Huawei P9 Lite is announced in Europe – 5.2” FHD display, HiSilicon Kirin 650 processor, 13MP + 8MP cameras, 2 / 3GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 6.0 (EMUI 4.1), LTE Cat. 6, 3000mAh battery, EUR299. (Phone Arena, My Drivers)

huawei-p9-lite

Tablets
Rising demand for 2-in-1 devices has increased the adoption of stylus support by brand vendors. In addition to Microsoft and Apple, Huawei, Acer, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Dell and Asustek are also planning to release 2-in-1 devices with a stylus for 3Q16. (Digitimes, press)
Acer Switch Alpha 12 is announced – 12” 2160×1440 display, 6th Generation Intel Core processor, Intel RealSense 3D camera, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, Windows 10, USD599. (GSM Arena, MS Power User, Engadget)

acer-switch-alpha-12

Wearables
With VR becoming a hot topic, China-based white-box players have been aggressively releasing inexpensive head-worn VR devices and home-care robots, and even formed a supply chain ecosystem specifically for VR products. Currently, the retail channel in Shenzhen is filled with related products. (Digitimes, press, 52RD)
HTC has signed a strategic partnership agreement with 3D software solution provider Dassault Systemes, aiming to develop business-use virtual reality (VR) solutions. (Digitimes, Tech PortalVenture Beat, China TimesET Today)
Internet of Things
China could be reportedly interested in data that is gathered by drones. Drone maker DJI is in talks with Chinese officials who are keen on getting their hands on data gathered by DJI’s drones. (Ubergizmo, Bloomberg, OfWeek)
The China market for industrial robots reached an estimated USD1.3 billion in 2015. This market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20%, reaching USD3.3 billion in 2020, according to IHS. China accounted for 13% of global industrial robot revenues in 2015, and is expected to comprise 25% in 2020, said IHS. (Digitimes, IHS, press, C114)

ihs-industrial-robots-chinese-market-2015-2020

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