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5-27: US jury said Google did not infringe Oracle’s patents; Lenovo says Lenovo’s integration of Motorola is not going as well as hoped for; China Mobile indicates 5G commercialization might cause abandon of SMS; etc.

US jury said Google did not infringe Oracle’s patents; Lenovo says Lenovo’s integration of Motorola is not going as well as hoped for; ZTE is reportedly planning to open 23 flagship stores worldwide; Samsung Galaxy C5 and C7 for China are launched; China Mobile indicates 5G commercialization might cause abandon of SMS; Microsoft and Facebook have announced a partnership to build a massive underwater data cable “MAREA” connecting the US to Europe; etc.

Chipsets

TSMC expects to boost its R&D spending to a record USD2.2 billion in 2016, according to company co-CEO Mark Liu. TSMC spent USD1.067 billion on R&D in 2015. (CN Beta, Digitimes, 163, CNFOL)
Intel has acquired computer vision startup Itseez, Inc. Itseez develops computer vision algorithms and implementations for embedded and specialized hardware with software that can be used in cars, security systems and other platforms. (CN Beta, Reuters, SlashGear, Silicon Angle)

Touch / Display

Samsung Display demos high resolution display for VR – 5.5” 3840×2160 4K resolution, reaching 806ppi, 350nit brightness and 97% colour gamut. (CN Beta, Android Headlines)

samsung-4k-vr

Samsung Electronics will skip commercializing OLED for TVs and go straight to QLED technology, perhaps as soon as 2019. Its strategy is to continue to develop its quantum-dot TVs, which are its current major products, and prepare to commercialize QLED technologies during this time. (CN Beta, Twice, Tribu Magazine)
While OLED panels are seeing increasing use in smartphones and have been adopted for TVs, the technology is unlikely to replace TFT-LCD panels and therefore makers of light guide plates for LCD panels will not see major impacts, said chairman Lee Man-hsiang of light guide plate maker Global Lighting Technologies (GLT). (Digitimes, press, Toutiao, FPDisplay)

Memory

According to TrendForce, 30.777 million SSDs are shipped in 1Q16, up 32% from 23.190 million in 1Q15. Samsung is the world’s largest maker of NAND flash and is also the largest manufacturer of SSDs, controlling over 40% of the market for a while now and its unit shipments increased from 9.42 million in 1Q15 to 12.93 million in 1Q16. (CN Beta, GSM Arena, TrendForce, AnandTech)

trendforce-1q16-ssd-shipments trendforce-1q16-ssd-market-share

Sensors

FenSens is making a smart license plate holder and an app that can give car all the parking sensors required. Installing FenSens is simple: install the license plate cover with a screwdriver, pair it with the companion app using Bluetooth. (CN Beta, Geek, CNET, The Verge, FenSens)

fensens-1 fensens-2

Battery

MIT has developed a way to possibly break the maximum efficiency of a solar cell, the Shockley-Queisser Limit, which is the theoretical maximum efficiency of a solar cell, and it’s somewhere around 32% for the most common silicon-based ones. These solar thermophotovoltaics take light and pass it through an intermediary part comprised of nanophotonic crystals that outputs thermal radiation. (TechNews, Engadget, TechCrunch, MIT News, Nature Energy)

mit-solar-thermal

MIT has developed a prototype liquid flow battery that does not require a pump system, making production and operation simpler and less costly. With an hourglass design, its angle can be adjusted in order to change the rate of flow, and therefore the rate of energy production. (CN Beta, Gizmag, MIT)

mit-liquid-battery

University of New South Wales has pushed sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency to 34.5% – establishing a new world record for unfocused sunlight and nudging closer to the theoretical limits for such a device. Using a 28cm2 four-junction mini-module – embedded in a prism – that extracts the maximum energy from sunlight. (CN Beta, Clean Technica, Solar Novus)

australia-solar-power

Connectivity

Apple’s patent application for “Point-to-point ad hoc voice communication” describes a mode of communication, outlining a headset capable of connecting with other devices of the same type via wireless ad hoc networks, also known as peer-to-peer or point-to-point links. (CN Beta, Mac Rumors, Apple Insider)

apple-patent-smart-walkie-talkies

Microsoft and Facebook have announced a partnership to build a massive underwater data cable “MAREA” connecting the US to Europe. It should be ready by October 2017 and will have an insane estimated data capacity of 160Tbps. (Engadget, Facebook, Microsoft, iFeng)

microsoft-facebook-cable

China Mobile CEO Li Yue indicates that, traditional SMS business has been decreasing rapidly, and if 5G network starts commercialized, it will be abandoned entirely. (CN Beta, DoSpy)

Smartphones

A U.S. jury handed Google a major victory on in a long-running copyright battle (lasts for 6 years) with Oracle over Android software used to run most of the world’s smartphones. It brings the trial to a close without Oracle winning any of the USD9 billion in damages it requested. (CN Beta, MSN, Bloomberg, Yahoo, Money Control)

google-v-oracle-1 google-v-oracle-2

With the Indian government determined to promote local manufacturing in 25 sectors including electronic equipment, around two dozen new smartphone assembling units have been established by various companies in less than 2 years in India, as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” campaign launched in September 2014. (CN Beta, ZDNet)
Samsung has owned the accumulated patents of 11,145 as of the end of 2015, adding that it has filed 23, 385 patents last year alone. Most of them have been filed particularly in the US among others. The company filed 38,809 patents in the US, 30,741 in South Korea, 15,654 in Europe, 10,030 in China, 6,746 in Japan, and 8,165 in other countries. (CN Beta, Android Headlines, Android Truth, Business Korea)
According to Lenovo, its 2015 fiscal year finance report, Lenovo PC sales has dropped 6% compared to last year to 56 million units, and market share has dropped 12%. Smartphones sales have dropped 13% to 66 million units. Also, its mobile phone market share has dropped 1.1% to 4.6%. (CN Beta, Sina, Lenovo, WSJ, ZDNet)

lenovo-1q16-financial-report

Lenovo says Lenovo’s integration of Motorola is not going as well as hoped for. Motorola segment contributed almost 5 million units in phone sales, while kicking in USD1 billion in revenue to Lenovo’s Mobile Business Group, which includes phones, tablets and smart TVs. (CN Beta, The Verge, CNET)
Intensifying its patent infringement case against Apple, VirnetX has asked a Texas court to order an injunction against FaceTime, iMessage, and a VPN feature, while simultaneously asking for greater damage payments on top of USD625.6 million awarded earlier this year.(CN Beta, Digital Trends, Mac Rumors, Law360, Apple Insider)
Alibaba and Ant Financial plans USD400 million investment in Didi Chuxing, each USD200 million. (CN Beta, China Money Network)
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a motion to join Microsoft’s effort to challenge DOJ that prevents Microsoft from telling customers when the government has ordered it to turn over data. (CN Beta, USA Today, CNET)
The Finnish government criticized Microsoft for its latest job cuts in the country, saying it had failed to keep promises made two years ago of making Finland a hub and keeping research and development jobs. (CN Beta, Investing, Global Times)
Investment firm Piper Jaffray estimates India could contribute some 62 million iOS device users to Apple’s user base if the company successfully ramps its presence up to China levels, but a comparatively low-income population and strict government policies presage a rough path ahead. (Apple Insider, CN Beta)
Sony’s quest to get rid of unnecessary businesses continues. The electronics giant has sold off the “majority” of its creative software suite to Magix, a German firm that revolves around pro imaging apps. (TechNews, Engadget, Studio Daily)
ZTE is reportedly planning to open 23 flagship stores worldwide to showcase its consumer electronics products, such as smartphones, tablets and routers. (Android Headlines, Bloomberg, PC Pop)
ZTE Axon 7 is announced – 5.5” QHD AMOLED 2.5D glass display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 20MP OIS EIS PDAF + 8MP cameras, 4GB RAM / 64GB storage or 6GB RAM / 128GB storage, Android 6.0, LTE (VoLTE), dual-SIM, AKM 4961 + 4490 audio chips, USB Type-C, fingerprint sensor, 3140mAh battery, CNY2899 – CNY4099. (CN Beta, GSM Arena, Sina, IT168)

zte-axon-7

Samsung Galaxy C5 and C7 are officially announced for China: Galaxy C5 – 5.2” FHD Super AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 MSM8952 processor, 16MP + 8MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 32/64GB storage, Android 6.0, LTE, dual-SIM, fingerprint sensor, 2600mAh battery, CNY2199 / CNY2399. Galaxy C7 – 5.7” FHD Super AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 MSM8953 processor, 16MP + 8MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 32/64GB storage, Android 6.0, LTE, dual-SIM, fingerprint sensor, 3300mAh battery, CNY2599 / CNY2799. (GSM Arena, Times News, CN Beta)

samsung-galaxy-c5

LG Stylus 2 Plus is launched in Taiwan – 5.7” FHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 16MP + 8MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 6.0, LTE, dual-SIM, 3000mAh battery, NTD10990. (CN Beta, GSM Arena, LG)

lg-stylus-2-plus

Wearables

Samsung may be developing its own Gear VR controller. The controller appears to have an analog stick on the left, a four-button keypad on the right and possibly a Start or menu button in the middle. On the top right and left shoulder button, as well as a Bluetooth sync button. (Android Central, Ubergizmo, GSM Arena, Hexun)

samsung-gear_vr_controller

ZTE VR is announced – controls on the side (a rocker, single action button and a touch pad to swipe and navigate around), a focus wheel on the top, 9-axis gyroscope built-in, compatible with ZTE Axon 7, which is claimed to support Google Daydream VR, CNY518. (GSM Arena, The Verge, Sina, Sohu)

zte-axon-vr

Mumbai-based ConvergeVR Tech Labs launches Converge VR DK3, which is claimed to be the first consumer VR headset that supports Google’s Daydream VR platform, priced at INR2099. (CN Beta, Deccan Chronicle, Hyper Grid Business)

convergence-vr-dk3

Internet of Things

Sharp began selling a humanoid robot phone RoboHon armed with artificial intelligence features and carrying a price tag of JPY198,000 – powered by quad-core 1.2GHz processor, supports LTE and Wi-Fi, 1700mAh battery, and could be a personal assistant. Sharp to produce 5000 units per month. (CN Beta, Zee News, Japan Times)

sharp-robohon

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