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5-12: Sharp reportedly plans to cut 15% of its total workforce in Japan; DRAM chip manufacturers are intending to reduce their inventories in 2Q16; The smartphone market is going to get worse before it gets better; etc.

Sharp reportedly plans to cut 15% of its total workforce in Japan; DRAM chip manufacturers are intending to reduce their inventories in 2Q16; The smartphone market is going to get worse before it gets better; The larger handset of Apple will exclusively feature 3GB RAM to handle the dual-camera functionality; etc.

Chipset

The board of TSMC has approved capital appropriations of approximately USD4.101 billion to expand capacity for advanced-node manufacturing, as well as converting certain logic capacity to specialty technologies, and R&D capital investments and sustaining capital expenditure. (TechNews, Digitimes)
According to IC Insights, automotive electronics represented only 8.9% of the USD1.42 trillion total 2015 worldwide electronic systems market, a slight increase from 8.6% in 2014. IC Insights believes pricing pressures on automotive ICs and electronic systems will prevent the automotive end-use application from accounting for much more than its current share of total electronic systems sales through 2019. (IC Insights, press, TechNews)

icinsights-falling-asps-offset-unit-growth-in-three-largest-auto-ic-market-segments-2015

Display

Sharp reportedly plans to cut 15% of its total workforce in Japan (3000 employees), particularly from its solar panels business segment and management staff at company headquarters. (The Jakarta Post, China Post, CN Beta)
Apple is reportedly working on an edge-to-edge display that will conceal components and sensors under the screen for 2017 iPhone, according to John Gruber of Daring Fireball. (Daring Fireball, CN Beta, Apple Insider)

iphone-edge-to-edge-concept-picture

Memory

According to DRAMeXchange and IDC, the global DRAM market is forecast to record a bit growth of 3%-4% in 2Q16. In the meantime, the Q2 bit growth estimates recently provided by major DRAM chip suppliers are double-digit without exception. “Such high estimates imply that the DRAM chip manufacturers are intending to reduce their inventories in the second quarter,” said KTB Investment & Securities analyst Jin Sung-hye. (TechNews, Business Korea)

businesskorea-dram-2q16-growth

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that the larger handset of Apple will exclusively feature 3GB RAM to handle the dual-camera functionality. (Apple Insider, CS, 163)
Micron has begun the mass production of its faster and more power efficient GDDR5X video memory chips, which will feature on upcoming graphics cards in 2016. (Kit Guru, Micron, PC Online, My Drivers)

gddr5x-micron

Western Digital has received regulatory approval from China’s Ministry of Commerce in connection with the planned acquisition of SanDisk. (TechNews, Motley Fool, Android Headlines, PR Newswire, Yahoo)

Camera

A new image reportedly leaked from Catcher Technology, showing that Apple “iPhone 7 Pro or Plus” will feature a dual lens camera. The modules are expected to be supplied by Sony and LG Innotek. (Apple Insider, Yahoo, USwitch, 163, iFeng)

leaked-apple-iphone-7-dual-camera

Smartphones

According to CMR’s India annual LTE (4G) Devices Market Review, 2015 release announced today, the total LTE device shipments in the country reached 33 million in 2015, 1676% increase compared to last year.  The 4G devices comprise of Smartphones, Tablets and Data Cards, representing 98%, 0.9% and 1.0%, contributions respectively, in 2015. (CMR India, press, 199IT)

cmr-india-lte-devices-by-types-2015 cmr-india-lte-market-leaders-2015

According to CMR’s India Mobile Handset Report for 1Q16, India shipped a total of 52.6 million handsets against 55.4 million in 1Q15, registering a decline of 4% YoY.  The QoQ decline was 12.8%. Contribution of India brands was at an all-time high of 45%, up 7% compared to 4Q15, while the handsets actually made out of India contributed 67% to the sales. (Times of India, CMR India, press)

cmr-india-1q16-india-mobile-phone-shipment cmr-india-1q16-smartphone-market-share

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple might ship between 20- 30 million iPhone 7 with dual cameras in 2H16, with the shipment of camera modules from Sony and LG Innotek. (Phone Arena, Apple Insider, CS)
Bloomberg noted that smartphone component suppliers in Asia are issuing concerning earning reports and guidance. Asian suppliers just provided a few hints: It is going to get worse before it gets better – Sliding sales, an unfettered market-share competition and crumbling prices. (Today Online, Yahoo, Bloomberg, press, CN Beta)
In China, due to the growth of few domestic brands, Apple is facing disappointing quarter, which shows a decline in sales for its iPhones. One of the domestic brands, Huawei, not only affects Apple’s sales in China, it has become one of the main hurdles for Apple in Western Europe, even the whole world. (TechNews, 199IT, CNBC, WSJ, NASDAQ)

wsj-top-5-market-share-4q15 wsj-samsung-apple-huawei-r-n-d-spending wsj-asp-top-5-makers-2015

LeEco CNY1.87 billion investments in TCL Multimedia are completed, now owning 20% stake. (CN Beta, Tencent, 163)

Wearables

Google reportedly will reveal a standalone “Android VR” headset soon as part of its Google I/O developer conference. (Android Central, TechRadar, CN Beta)

android-vr-twitter

Oculus confirms that over 1 million people used Samsung Gear VR (collaboration between Samsung and Oculus) in April 2016. (Android Headlines, Ubergizmo, VR Focus, Oculus, 163)
Garmin Forerunner 735XT is officially launched – built-in optical heart-rate sensor, GPS, all-day activity tracking, compatible with Android / iOS, Strava’s Live Suffer Score app that can determine how hard the workout is, priced USD450. (Pocket-Lint, Garmin, Engadget, CNET, Toutiao)

Forerunner 735XT - Frost Blue, Standard Views, UNITED STATES

Internet of Things

A product team at Google is reportedly working on a hardware device that would integrate Google’s search and voice assistant technology, internally dubbed “Chirp”. (Android Central, Re/Code, Tencent)
Hitachi is doubling down on its already sizeable IoT interests with a USD2.8 billion investment in IoT-related activities over the next 3 years. (Read/Write, Bloomberg, Hitachi, Sina)
Nest released OpenThread, an open source implementation of the Thread networking protocol.(CN Beta, The Verge, Yahoo, CNET)
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