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6-23: Lenovo to revamp its current manufacturing supply chains and beef up its global campaign; Sony will no longer manufacture smartphones in Brazil; Huawei has reportedly reduced its target to 120 million for 2016; etc.

Lenovo has announced a reviving plan to revamp its current manufacturing supply chains and beef up investment in its global campaign; Huawei is reportedly working on a proprietary mobile OS; Huawei has reduced its target to 120 million for 2016 from previously set target 140 million; Sony has announced that it will no longer manufacture smartphones in Brazil; Apple is rumored holding the name iPhone 7 until next year’s 10th anniversary edition; etc.

Chipset

Qualcomm announced that it is now broadly supporting the European Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) across its entire range of products. Qualcomm says the GNSS support comes on top of existing support for the GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS, and SBAS satellite location services. (CN Beta, SocalTech, 4-Trader)
Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) has announced that Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor and MDM9x07 have passed customer qualification and begun mass production at its majority owned joint venture fab in Beijing. (CN Beta, Yahoo, Digitimes)
Pure-play foundry United Microelectronics (UMC) plans to invest up to USD50 million in China-based Wise Road Capital through a wholly-owned subsidiary Sino Paragon. (Digitimes, SVMI, 52RD)
MediaTek announced it is preparing to launch 5G compatible chips as soon as 2018, after expanding its R&D team to more than 100 people involved with the project. (Digitimes, GSM Dome, EEPW, Hexun)
Back in 2009, the European Union hit Intel with a record breaking USD1.2 billion antitrust fine. The EU court heard Intel’s appeal against the fine this week, where one of Intel’s lawyers that the European Commission did not analyse “all relevant circumstances” during its investigation. (Kit Guru, Bloomberg, My Drivers, China Tech, Digital Trends)
AMD is reportedly working on 7nm process, and already have an aggressive roadmap. The processor codenamed “Starship” has 48 cores and 96 thread support, which using an upgrade of Zen architecture. (TechNews, Fudzilla, eTekNix)

Touch Display

Tai Jeng-wu, Sharp’s new boss, confirmed plans to lay off 7,000 employees worldwide after Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. takes over. (CN Beta, WSJ, Yahoo, Mainichi, CN Beta)
Foxconn plans to close costly and redundant overseas operations of new acquisition Sharp Corp, and bring to market products using Sharp’s valuable patents and technology as quickly as possible, pointed by Terry Guo, the chief of Foxconn. (WSJ, Yahoo, Android Headlines, CN Beta, 163, China Times)
Apple to adopt OLED panel for its iPhone in 2018, and Citi Research already indicates that Japan Display would be a big loser in the mobile display game. It is way behind its Korean counterparts in the OLED technology. (Barron’s, press, TechNews)
Some minor changes are reportedly coming to the front of the Apple iPhone 7 that will render protective LCD films made for other devices unusable on the new iPhone. (CN Beta, Mac Rumors, Mac Otakara)

Battery

BYD officially announced that it will collaborate with Qinghai province to build a new power battery production line in Qinghai, which will have 10GWh production capacity. It will be able to provide batteries to about 600K BYD hybrid cars. (CN Beta, 163, Gasgoo, 4-Traders)

byd-10gwh

Connectivity

According to senior analyst Andrew Entwistle, the 5G technology has a laundry list of disadvantages, compared to just perfecting the current 4G LTE rollout. He described 5G’s capability for “outdoor-to-indoor service” as “perhaps terminally poor”. (Phone Arena, SMH, Advertiser)
According to Digitimes, Taiwan-based IC suppliers have been receiving more short lead-time orders for USB Type-C solutions from notebook vendors and ODMs recently, indicating that the Type-C interface is likely to become mainstream in products in 2H16. (Digitimes, press)
CNNIC released 37th “China Internet Network Development Status Report”, showing that half of the Chinese population already connected to the Internet, and mobile Internet users have reached 620 million. Till Dec. 2015, Chinese Internet users have reached 688 million, Internet adoption rate 50.3%. (ChinaZ, Tencent, CN Beta, CNNIC, report)
cnnic-china-internet-users-size-2015

Smartphones

BlackBerry CEO John Chen indicates that making handsets profitable is BlackBerry’s main objective for 2016. BlackBerry also continues to shift the majority of its resources to software. (CN Beta, Investing, Mobile Syrup)

blackberry-revenue

According to Lenovo CFO Gianfranco Lanci and CMO David Roman announced a reviving plan to revamp its current manufacturing supply chains and beef up investment in its global campaign. (CN Beta, ZDNet, SCMP)
Huawei is reportedly working on a proprietary mobile OS in an attempt to reduce its reliance on Google’s Android. Huawei’s VP of Design Abigail Brody (a former Apple designer) is working on refining its EMUI to better cater to Western markets. Allegedly, former Nokia engineers are part of the Huawei team that’s currently working on this new mobile OS. (The Information, Phone Arena, Android Authority, Sohu, Yesky)
According to supply chain sources, Huawei has reduced its target to 120 million for 2016 from previously set target 140 million. (EE World, CECB2B, Gizmo China, My Drivers)
Sony has announced that it will no longer manufacture smartphones in Brazil. Although it invested BRL250 million (USD83 million) last year to expand its mobile unit in the country, the end of tax exemptions for locally manufactured smartphones that cost up to BRL1,500 (USD530) has motivated the brand to move away from local production. (GSM Arena, Android Central, ZDNet, ZOL, Tech China, CNMO)
OPPO vice president Wu Qiang indicates that there is no “sweep the deck” in phone industry, and “OPPO model” does not guarantee success. He also admits that advertisements (marketing) and channels are important factors to success. (Hexun, article, NBD, Sohu)
Apple is rumored holding the name iPhone 7 until next year’s 10th anniversary edition, meaning that the 2016 models will very likely be named using another riff on iPhone 6. (Venture Beat, Ubergizmo, WSJ, China Times, TechWeb)
Pantech unveils smartphone Sky IM-100 with a cube-shaped charger-cum-wireless speaker – FHD LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 2GB RAM, Qualcomm audio chip WCD9326, 3000mAh battery, KRW449,900. (Android Headlines, Korea Times, Yonhap News)

pantech-sky-im-100

Elephone P20 full specs revealed – 5.5” FHD bezel-less 3D glass display, MediaTek P20 processor, 12MP + 8MP cameras, 6GB RAM, 32GB storage,  USB Type-C. (Android Headlines, Gizmo China, GizChina, Toutiao)

elephone-p20

Wearables

iiMedia Research data shows that, in 2016 China VR market size will grow to CNY5.66 billion in 2016, and by 2020 the market size is forecast to grow to CNY55.63 billion. (199IT, iiMedia Research report)

iimediaresearch-2016-2020-china-vr-market-size

Samsung has announced the service Milk VR is now getting rebranded as Samsung VR, users can now upload 360 videos. (VRSource, Android Authority, Sam Mobile, Tencent, VR sat)
Samsung has launched a new initiative called “Creators” to entice storytellers and filmmakers to spin VR and 360-degree tales that Gear VR users can enjoy. (Engadget, Samsung Creators, OfWeek)

Internet of Things

OpenAI wants to develop a robot that can be flexible, helpful and intelligent to do all  the housework. It will not actually build the machine; but using an off-the-shelf automaton manufactured by another company. (CN Beta, PC Mag, CNET, OpenAI)
MIT Technology Review announces its annual listing of the 50 smartest companies. 5 China companies are on the top 50, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, Huawei and Didi Chuxing. (Yahoo, 199IT, Venture Beat, MIT Technology Review)

mit-smartest-companies-ranking-2016

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