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9-8: Today is all about Apple — iPhone 7 / 7 Plus, Apple Watch Series 2, AirPods; etc.

Chipset

Intel has plans to spin off its security unit McAfee into a new company that will be owned in-part by private equity firm TPG. Intel will retain a 49% ownership stake of the entity with TPG taking the majority stake. In exchange, Intel will be receiving USD3.1 billion in cash. (TechCrunch, Intel, Sina)
Chip demand for mid- and high-end smartphones is set to be higher than expected in 2016, while demand for SiP (system-in-package) remains robust, according to Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) COO Tien Wu. He reiterated ASE’s performance during 2H16 will outperform that in 1H16. (Digitimes, press, China Times, TechNews)
Apple debuts 3 custom chips – (1) A10 Fusion SoC on iPhone 7 series quad-core CPU adopts ARM’s big.LITTLE approach, featuring six-core GPU; (2) W1 in AirPods wireless communications chip; and, (3) S2 SiP in Apple Watch Series 2 with a 50% faster dual-core CPU and 2× faster GPU than the previous gen. (EE Times, The Verge, OfWeek)

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Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) said it plans to raise USD1.02 billion in common stock and debt as part of its plan to restructure its debt. (CN Beta, MSN, Venture Beat)

Touch Display

The manufacturer of flexible and transparent conductive films and touch sensors, Canatu has received EUR22 million late stage funding via a series of investments of EUR10 million and a loan of EUR12 million from the European Investment Bank. (PEW, Reuters)

canatu-transparent-flexible

Biometrics

Samsung Electronics is planning to outsource part of its fingerprint recognition modules for smartphones to middle-grade companies as number of supplies has increased rapidly due to expansion of fingerprint recognition modules, which were only applied to flagship models in the past, towards middle and low-priced phones. (CN Beta, ET News)

Connectivity

Fujitsu announced that it has built a prototype wireless unit incorporating inter-subarray coding technology, which makes it possible to achieve high-speed transmissions, in excess of 10Gbps, for 5G mobile wireless base stations and access points. (Far East Gizmos, Telecom Paper, Electronics WeeklyEEPW, VIPSMT)

fujitsu_wireless-unit-5g

Smartphones

Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest smartphone maker, said about USD38 million of its goods and parts were on board 2 vessels operated by the distressed Hanjin Shipping, which applied for bankruptcy protection recently. (CN Beta, Fortune, USA Today, Bloomberg, Today Online, WSJ)
Ireland’s government has admitted that it will have to accept a EUR13 billion (USD14.6 billion) payment from Apple ordered by the European Commission, despite well-publicized resistance to the award from its politicians. (CN Beta, PC World, Shack News, Forbes, Seeking Alpha, Irish Times, CNBC)

apple-ireland-eu oecd-corporate-tax-rates-in-select-countries

Apple App Store sees 140 billion downloads to date, 106% year-over-year growth. (TechCrunch, TechWeb)

app-store-140-billion

Apple iPhone 7 / 7 Plus are official, powered by Apple A10 Fusion processor, 32 / 128 / 256GB storage, pressure sensitive Home button, stereo speakers, IP67 certified, iOS 10, Apple Lightning connector: iPhone 7 – 4.7” 1334×750 Retina Display with 3D Touch, 12MP OIS + 7MP cameras, from USD649. iPhone 7 Plus – 5.5” 1920×1080 Retina Display with 3D Touch, 2×12MP + 7MP cameras, from USD769. (GSM Arena, Android Authority, Tab Times, Apple Insider, CNET, Ars Technica, AnandTech)

apple-iphone-7-7-plus

Wearables

Apple Watch Series 2 is announced – A brighter display that can achieve 1000 nits, Apple S2 SiP dual-core processor, built-in GPS, watchOS 3.0, water-resistant up to 50m, USD369. (Phone Arena, Apple Insider, AnandTech, CBS News, Forbes, Business Insider, Xinmin)

apple-watch-series-2

Apple Bluetooth wireless earphone AirPods is announced – Apple W1 wireless chip, dual optical sensors that can sense when they are in user’s ears to pause and play music, dual voice accelerometers that dtect when user is speaking automatically, dual microphones, recharge in portable carry case, USD159. (GSM Arena, Digital Trends, CNET, TNW, The Verge, 163)

apple-airpods

Apple and Beats announced a new line of wireless Beats by Dre headphones powered by Apple’s new W1 chip—Beats Solo3, Powerbeats3 and BeatsX. (CN Beta, Mac Rumors, Onsmash, Pocket-Lint, Digital Trends)

apple-w1-earphones

Internet of Things

Vizio announces 2 new SmartCast Wi-Fi speakers, based on Google Cast – Vizio SmartCast Crave 360, priced at USD250, circular device touts 2.1 audio; and Vizio SmartCast Crave Pro, priced at USD300, features 2.1 audio and packs in a pair of subwoofers. (CN Beta, Engadget, Vizio, The Verge)

vizio-smartcast

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