10-7: Lenovo will not make Windows Phone anymore; Spreadtrum to use Intel 14nm process; MediaTek to triple workforce in India; etc.

Chipset

Intel is making 14nm application processors for Spreadtrum with sample shipments starting in Oct. 2016. Spreadtrum with its 14nm chips built by Intel is looking to grab orders for Samsung’s mid-range smartphone series for 2017, according to Digitimes. (CN Beta, Digitimes, press)
MediaTek reportedly has landed tablet chip orders from Amazon for production of its second generation smart home device, the Echo Dot. (Digitimes, press, NDTV, Laoyaoba)
MediaTek is looking to triple the current number of 500 employees to 1,500 employees over the next 3 years in India. (Android Headlines, Asia Nikkei, Reuters, Sina, Laoyaoba)
AMD says desktops powered with its 7th-generation Bristol Ridge Pro Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) are available to purchase. It consists of seven chips: two A12 units, two A10 units, one A8 unit, and two A6 units. (CN Beta, The Inquirer, AnandTech, Digital Trends)
Worldwide sales of semiconductors reached USD28 billion for the month of August 2016, an increase of 3.5% compared to the previous month’s total of USD27.1 billion and an uptick of 0.5% over the August 2015 total of USD27.9 billion, according to SIA. (TechNews, Digitimes, SIA, press)

sia-aug-2016-revenue

Memory

The global average contract price of PC DRAM rose 7.4% monthly in Sept. 2016 to USD14.5 as DRAM makers adjusted their product mixes and caused PC DRAM supply to tighten significantly, says TrendForce. In 4Q16, the average contract price of PC DRAM will reach its highest point in 2 years due to stronger-than-expected notebook demand worldwide. The anticipated quarterly increase in the average contract price will be at almost 30%. (TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press, CN Beta)
Samsung is reportedly going to push forward start of operation of its semiconductor factory in Pyeongtaek by 3 months. Its strategy is not to lose any booming that is happening within NAND-Flash industries and to maintain gap from its competitors. Do Hyeon-woo of Mirae Asset Securities indicates that supplies and demands are balanced out in NAND-Flash markets currently, but will break when Samsung operates its factory in Pyeongtaek. (TechNews, ET News)

Sensory

Apple’s newly granted patent covers their invention relating to user interfaces for computerized systems, and specifically to user interfaces that are based on three-dimensional sensing. (CN Beta, Laoyaoba, Patently Apple)

apple-patent-3d-interaction

Biometrics

As published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the tech described in Apple’s patent for a “Capacitive fingerprint sensor including an electrostatic lens” offers a solution covering a fingerprint sensor capable of gathering accurate readings through structures like a device screen. (Apple Insider, USPTO, 163, C114)

apple-fingerprint-sensor-patent

University of Washington has devised a way to send secure passwords through the human body — using benign, low-frequency transmissions generated by fingerprint sensors and touchpads on consumer devices. (Engadget, Published Paper, University of Washington, 163)

wireless-body-transfer

Huawei is reportedly in the process of diversifying fingerprint sensor suppliers. The report states that the company has already reached an agreement with Goodix Technology and Silead. Up to this point, Fingerprint Cards (FPC) was the sole supplier of fingerprint scanners for Huawei’s smartphones. (Android Headlines, Digitimes, press, EE Focus, 163)

Material

Samsung is interested in keeping its devices water, dust, and fingerprint free with something called a “superhydrophobic glass coating”. The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed the transparent coating to go over glass displays. (CN Beta, Value Walk, The Verge, Oak Ridge National Lab)

samsung-waterproof-coating

Smartphones

Gartner says worldwide combined shipments for devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are expected to decline 3% in 2016. This will mark the second consecutive year of decline. The global devices market fell by 0.75% in 2015. Mobile phone shipments will fall 1.6% in 2016, but will return to growth in 2017. (Gartner, press, data, CN Beta)

gartner-forecast-3q16

According to Luke Lin, an analyst for DigiTimes Research, Google could sell 3~4 million units of the Pixel and Pixel XL before the end of 2016. (Android Headlines, CN Beta, Digitimes, press)
Huawei was originally due to produce the Pixel smartphones, it backed out once Google said the OEM logo would not be placed on the smartphones. HTC is allegedly manufacturing Google Pixel phones. (GizChina, CN Beta, NDTV, Android Police)
Lenovo’s chief operating officer, Gianfranco Lanci indicates that the company has no plans to release a Microsoft Windows Phone. (CN Beta, PC World, Canalys, The Register)
Amazon Great Indian Festival and Flipkart Big Billion Days 2016 is over, and it looks like Xiaomi has emerged victorious from both sales. Xiaomi reveals that it sold 500,000 smartphones from Oct. 1 ~3. (Android Headlines, Mashable, Android Central, Leiphone, Sina, Taihainet)

xiaomi-india-50000

Leading brand consultancy, Interbrand, named Apple, Google and Coca-Cola the three most valuable brands in its 2016 Best Global Brands report, with automotive and technology brands dominating the ranking—and Tesla and Dior entering the Top 100 brands. (CN Beta, Business Wire, Interbrand)

interbrand-apple-valueable-brand

Tablets

Notebook shipments worldwide for 2016 are projected around 156 million units, down 5.1% from 2015, according to TrendForce. Chromebook shipments, however, has been expanding against the general trend of decline and are projected to achieve an impressive annual growth of 30~40%, totaling over 10 million units. (TrendForce[cn], press, TrendForce, press)

trendforce-top-5-chromebook

According to Google, there are now more than 20 million students using Chromebooks around the world. (Android Authority, Google, 163)

Wearables

12% of U.S. consumers surveyed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch say they intend to purchase USD159 priced Apple AirPods. 12% of the US installed base could lead to up to an incremental USD3 billion in revenue. (Business Insider, TechNews, iClarified)

merrill-lynch-apple-airpods

Polar announced M200, an entry-level GPS running watch and smart fitness tracker with a built-in optical heart-rate sensor. In addition to tracking pace and distance when running, the USD150 watch doubles as an all-day fitness tracker and can measure steps, distance, calories burned and sleep at night. (CN Beta, CNET, Pocket-Lint)

polar-m200

Internet of Things

In addition to applications related to VR, AR and IoT, the development of artificial intelligence (AI) will have a greater scalability in the future, and Google will continue to strengthen its cooperation with Taiwan-based players in these areas, according to Chien Lee-feng, managing director of Google Taiwan. (Digitimes, press, Epoch Times)
Samsung to acquire Viv Labs, the artificial intelligence startup behind Viv — the voice assistant that aims to handle everyday tasks for you all on its own. (Sina, Ars Technica, CNET, IB Times)

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