10-30: MediaTek 3Q16 net income NTD7.8B; Sharp CEO claims Apple plans to incorporate OLED panels in a next-generation iPhone; etc.

Chipset

“Wired” editor Cade Metz indicates that AI development is shaking up the chip market—Today, Internet giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and China’s Baidu are exploring a wide range of chip technologies that can drive AI forward, and the choices they make will shift the fortunes of chipmakers like Intel and NVIDIA. But at this point, even the computer scientists within those online giants don’t know what the future holds. (Wired, article, CN Beta)
MediaTek says 3Q16 consolidated operating income up 7.8% on quarter at NTD7.6B (USD240.35M), consolidated net income at NTD7.8B (USD248M). (Reuters, CN Beta, TechNews, Laoyaoba, MediaTek)

mediatek-3q16-financial-report

Touch Display

Apple reportedly out of the standalone monitor business after discontinuing Thunderbolt Display, introducing LG partnership. (CN Beta, Mac Rumors, 9to5Mac, The Verge)

apple-lg-display

Apple’s Jony Ive indicates that the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro is just “the beginning of a very interesting direction” for Apple. (CN Beta, CNET, CBS News)

apple-touch-bar

Newly appointed CEO of Japanese display maker Sharp, Tai Jeng-wu, also an executive at Sharp’s parent company Hon Hai Precision Industry, has seemingly confirmed widespread rumors claiming Apple plans to incorporate OLED panels in a next-generation iPhone. (Apple Insider, Asia Nikkei, iFeng)

sharp-president

LG Display plans to start pilot production of true RGB OLED display panels in 1H17 using inkjet printing technology on its G8 OLED fabrication line, paving the way for the industry to produce true RGB color, large size OLED panels in cost effective ways. (iTer News, OLED-Info, ET News)

lgd-ink-jet

LG Display’s OLED business unit president Yeo Sang-duk says that the company’s OLED TV production capacity is currently 100,000 units per month, as the company achieved a stable yield rate of over 80%. LGD is expanding its capacity and will be able to produce 2M panels in 2017 and 2.5M in 2018. (OLED-Info, Business Korea, 163)
AU Optronics (AUO) will inaugurate a 6G LTPS TFT-LCD factory in Kunshan, eastern China, on 16 Nov. 2016 and start production later in 4Q16. AUO expects production capacity to be fully utilized by the end of 2017, according to the company’s Mobile Solution Business Group general manager Sean Chen. (Digitimes, press, Sina, UDN)

Camera

Deutsche Boerse AD analyst Luo Jialing indicates that Largan Precision’s production capacity is not enough to meet the demand. Morgan Stanley agrees. If by 1Q17, the undergoing handsets with dual-camera are being launched, Largan Precison might be having difficulty to meet up the demand. Also, Largan is focusing on high-end lens. Currently 60%~70% of its products is 10MP above, and below 10% is 5MP below. (CW, TechNews, Taipei Times)

Battery

A new smart fabric developed by Georgia Institute of Technology generates electricity from movement and sunlight, and stores it in the fabric’s fibers. They stretched solar cells into long fibers to collect sunlight, and incorporated triboelectric nanogenerators that generate electricity from friction, and elongated supercapacitors to store the energy. (Digital Trends, LA Times, CN Beta)

energy-harvesting-battery

Tesla will build and sell its own line of solar panels with integrated batteries. The Powerwall 2 will allow residential homeowners to replace their entire roof with solar panels and an updated Powerwall 2 battery system. The roof is made of a textured glass tile with integrated solar cells. (The Verge, Digital Trends, iFeng)

tesla-solar-roof

Smartphones

Zenith shows that, in 2017, 75% of all Internet traffic will come from mobile devices. Zenith reports that Spain is currently the country with the largest amount of Internet usage that comes from mobile devices with a number of 85%. (Phone Arena, Android Authority, Zenith, press, Laoyaba, 163)
In an IDC survey on the damage of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 problem, just 24 Note 7 users were captured in the survey; as such, data in those questions should be viewed as directional only. 50% said they have or will choose an Apple iPhone to replace their recalled phone, while 17% said they would choose another Samsung. Most said they will return their phone through a carrier’s physical store. (Android Headlines, IDC, press, Android Authority, CN Beta)
Apple has reported that its cash and marketable securities stockpile grew by USD6.1B during the fiscal 4Q16 to USD237.6B. The company’s CFO Luca Maestri said that 91% of Apple’s cash, or about USD216B, is currently sitting outside the country. (CN Beta, Cult to Mac, Seeking Alpha, Fortune, Silicon Beat)
Noted in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Apple spent USD2.57B on R&D during the 3-month period ending in Sept. 2016, up USD550M from the same time last year. The figure represents more than 5% of the company’s net sales for the quarter. (Apple Insider, Motley Fool, 163, CN Beta)

wsj-r-and-d

Chinese companies led their global peers in research and development (R&D) spending growth, with an annual rate of 18.6%, according to the “2016 Global Innovation 1000 Study” report. Huawei, although a non-public company and not on the list, spent CNY59.6B (USD8.8B) on R&D in 2015, making it the highest spender in China, according to the report. (JRJ, 163, Laoyaoba, CECB2B, Strategy&, China Economic Net, China.org)

strategyand-top-china-rd-companies

LG U is launched in Korea – 5.2” FHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 4xx processor, 13MP + 8MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 6.0, 3000mAh battery, KRW396,000. (Android Authority, CN Beta, Phone Arena)

lg-u

Tablets and PCs

Microsoft VP of Surface Marketing Brian Hall believes that Apple will launch a touch-screen enabled Mac, which is similar to Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. (CN Beta, Win Beta, Softpedia)

surface-brian-hall-apple-2in1

Wearables

Starbreeze announced the purchase of Nozon, a Belgium-based visual effects studio for €7.1 million (about USD7.75M). Along with its special effects, the company is also working on some important features for VR video. (Engadget, Venture Beat, Starbreeze, Sina)

starbreeze-nozon

Internet of Things

IBM’s chief executive Virginia Rometty says its Watson artificial-intelligence technology is on track to be used in some form by 1B people by the end of 2017. (CN Beta, WSJ, ADVFN)
China HiSense Group president Liu Hongxin indicates that the company has rejected Sharp’s request to buy back the TV brand right in America. HiSense indicates that Sharp branded TV sells well in the region, and will continue to use the brand. Sharp has sold the TV fab in Mexico to HiSense in Jul. 2015, and also sign the brand licensing deal for Americas with HiSense. (CN Beta, Sina, Huanqiu, UDN)
Alphabet Inc. will focus its biggest bets in 2017 on the staid world of business software and cloud computing, a marked departure from lofty “moonshots” of recent years, such as burrito-carrying drones and super-fast internet service. (CN Beta, Bloomberg, eWeek)

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