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5-13: MediaTek forms strategic collaboration with NavInfo; Apple has announced a USD1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing; Japan Display will build a JPY50 billion production line for OLED panels; etc.

MediaTek forms strategic collaboration with NavInfo; The top-20 semiconductor companies’ sales declined by 6% in 1Q16/1Q15; Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix will both lower their total capex for memory ICs in 2016; Apple has announced a USD1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing; Japan Display will build a JPY50 billion production line for OLED panels; etc.

Chipset

MediaTek announced strategic collaboration China’s leading provider of digital map, telematics and dynamic traffic information service NavInfo. Under this collaboration, NavInfo will acquire MediaTek’s subsidy company AutoChips Inc., which is a China semiconductor company and engaged in research and design of automotive electronics, with USD600 million. (TechNews, Toutiao, ChinaAET)
According to IC Insights, in total, the top-20 semiconductor companies’ sales declined by 6% in 1Q16/1Q15, one point less than the total worldwide semiconductor industry decline of 7%. There were seven companies that displayed a double-digit 1Q16/1Q15 decline and three that registered a ≥25% fall (with memory giants Micron and SK Hynix posting the worst results). (TechNews, IC Insights, press)

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Display

Japan Display will build a JPY50 billion production line for OLED panels at a domestic factory. Plans call for starting the line next spring in Mobara, a city southeast of Tokyo. Production initially should be the equivalent of 3,000 smartphone screens a month, with output reaching 1 million per month later and 5 million in 2018. (TechNews, 52RD, 51Touch, Nikkei)

Memory

Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix will both lower their total capex for memory ICs in 2016, according to Digitimes Research. Combined memory capex by Samsung and SK Hynix will reach USD12 billion in 2016, down 18.4% from 2015. (Digitimes, press)

Connectivity

Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a way to use RFID tags to make interactive games and controllers so cheap, they are essentially disposable. Called “RapID”, it can sense if moving or touching objects attached with cheap, battery-less RFID tags in near real time. RapID can recognize movements in as little as 200 milliseconds. (Engadget, Coodoor, The Verge, Disney Research, Carnegie Mellon University)
Disney Research, University of Washington and Carnegie Mellon University have created PaperID, which is based on a commercially available stick-on RFID circuit that’s paired with an ungrounded monopole antenna. These input devices are small, light and powered wirelessly by RFID readers. (CN Beta, Technabob, Gizmag, Geek Wire)

Smartphones

Observing the supply chain in China: Out of stock or high inventory – “Hunger Promotion” does not exist in the consumer electronics market, which is highly competitive. The main reasons are imprecise market planning and the slow response of the supply chain. Compared to international company, China domestic supply chain management is messy, and even some no management at all. (CN Beta, 163)
Zhao Ming, president of Honor business of Huawei indicates that when Internet mobile phone vendors know how to use high-spec, hardware-stacking, low-cost, speedy delivery operation strategy, this method is difficult to attract consumers anymore. (CN Beta, Sina, ECNS)
Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s vice president of global indicates that Xiaomi is going to the US, but not in 2016. It is readying itself for some patent battles, and figuring out how to work with US carriers. (CN Beta, CNET)
Apple has announced a USD1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing, which has 87% of the market of private car hailing across China. (Reuters, Engadget, Apple Insider, 163, Sohu)
Cho Jun-ho, head of the LG MC division, sent emails to the unit’s workforce, saying, “We have to innovate the way we work and change the structure to be more nimble and lighter, in order to turn the market’s favorable response to our new smartphone G5 into actual business performance. We will continue personnel reshuffle, by taking individuals’ growth potentials and the division’s growth into consideration.” (Korea Economic Daily, TechNews)
Sharp and Ricoh team up for Sharp Aquos Zeta SH-04H – 5.3” FHD IGZO LCD 2.5D curved glass display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 22.6MP OIS with Ricoh lens certification + 5MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 6.0, LTE, 3000mAh battery. (Ubergizmo, NTT DoCoMo, GSM Arena, CN Beta)
AT&T announces LG Phoenix 2 for USD99.99 – 5” HD display, 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 8MP + 5MP cameras, 1.5GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 6.0, 2125mAh battery. (Android Central, Android Police, AT&T, CNET, Android and Me)
ZTE ZMAX Pro is announced for T-Mobile – 6” FHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, fingerprint sensor, Android 6.0. (Phone Dog, Venture Beat)

Tablets

There were an estimated 44.89 million tablets shipped globally during 1Q16, falling 31.3% on quarter and 12.1% on year, according to Digitimes Research. (Digitimes, press, EE Focus, CECB2B)

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Microsoft originally planned to launch its second-generation Surface Book in June 2016, upgrading the device with an Ultra HD display, but sources from the upstream supply chain report that the device is likely to be delayed due to some design issues. (Digitimes, Softpedia, 163)

Wearables

LG unveils LG Action Camera LTE – It can capture video in UHD resolution at 30fps, Full HD at 60fps, and HD at 120fp, stream live footage of HD at 30fps with LTE, IP67 rating, 1400mAh battery. (Ubergizmo, LG, Tencent, IT Home)
HumanEyes Technologies Vuze is a 3D 360-degree camera, featuring 8 full HD cameras – two on each side, each with a 120-degree horizontal / 180-degree vertical field of view. The camera is cable to capture stereoscopic 360-degree views at up to 4K resolution @ 30 frames per second. It is priced at USD799. (TechSpot, CN Beta)
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