11-3: Allegedly there won’t be Lenovo-branded phone in the future, only MOTO and ZUK; Broadcom acaquires network gear maker Brocade; Qualcomm F4Q16 revenue is USD6.2B; etc.

Chipset

Chipmaker Broadcom acaquires network gear maker Brocade Communications Systems for USD5.5M to expand its fiber channel and data storage businesses. (CN Beta, Reuters, TechCrunch, Fortune)
Qualcomm reported that Q4 FY2016 revenue is USD6.2B, a 13% increase on-year. Net income USD1.6B with 51% increase on-year. Qualcomm managed to ship 211M chips, a 4% increase on-year. (Android Headlines, Reuters, ZDNET, Qualcomm, WSJ, CN Beta)

qualcomm-4q16-financial

Touch Display

Taiwan-based TFT-LCD panel makers shipped 309.749M small- to medium-size panels in 3Q16, increasing 15.0% on quarter and 0.8% on year, according to Digitimes Research. (Digitimes, press)

digitimes-3q16-taiwan-tft-lcd

Sharp’s newly-appointed chief executive Tai Jeng-wu, who was dispatched by Foxconn to turn around the ailing company, stressed his skepticism regarding the OLED technology. He is not sure yet whether OLED has a future, indicates Mr. Tai, adding that the technology is not mature enough to produce a high-quality product. (CN Beta, 163, ADVFN, WSJ, Morningstar Advisor)
Fraunhofer FEP announced a new development reduced the power consumption of OLED microdisplays. The power reduction was enabled by new chip and control electronics, that now only handles pixel changes and does not refresh the entire display all at once. (OLED-Info, Fraunhofer FEP)

fraunhofer-oled-microdisplay

Memory

NOR flash prices are expected to rise in 2017 due to tight supply, according to Miin Wu, chairman for Taiwan-based Macronix International. Wu indicated that 2017 will be a prosperous year for the NAND flash industry after five years of declines. The supply of NOR flash chips has already been pretty tight, Wu said. (Digitimes, press, CECB2B)
TrendForce reports the average contract price of 4GB PC DRAM modules increased over 20% between Sept. and Oct. from USD14.5 to USD17.5 as DRAM suppliers completed their 4Q16 contract negotiations with 1st-tier PC-OEMs. Spot prices of DDR3 and DDR4 4Gb chips also rose 17% to 24% respectively in Oct. compared with Sept. to USD2.46 and USD2.48 on average. (TechNews, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)

Battery

Tesla Motors is obliged to pay about USD1.7B to Panasonic as of Sept. 30 for electric vehicle battery cells made at Tesla’s gigafactory in Nevada, the carmaker said in a regulatory filing. (CN Beta, Reuters, Fortune)

Sensory

Seoul-based startup VTouch gesture control technology uses eye and finger tracking with a 3D camera to allow users to do stuff like point at a light to turn it on, or wave at a large outdoor display to control it. VTouch is aiming to make its gesture-based HUDs a commercial reality by end-2017.  (CN Beta, Mashable)

vtouch

By overclocking the accelerometer on an LG smartwatch, Future Interfaces Group at Carnegie Mellon University is able to capture and process bio-acoustic signals, turning a smartwatch into a gesture device, dubbed ViBand, a data transmitter, and a highly specific activity tracker. (CN Beta, The Verge, YouTube, ViBand)

lg-viband

Connectivity

The United Kingdom government plans to invest GBP1.9B (USD2.3B) over the next 5 years in a new cyber defence plan, called the National Cyber Security Strategy, to prepare for and fight back against cyber attacks in the future. (BBC, TechCrunch, CN Beta)

uk-national-cybersecurity

Smartphones

India’s smartphone market grew by over 20% on year in 3Q16 with shipments breaking the 30M mark, according to Canalys. Lenovo‘s focus on offline channels and Xiaomi’s move away from being an online-only vendor have clearly helped. Xiaomi’s shipments grew by almost 170% year on year. (Digitimes, Canalys, press, CECB2B)
According to Canalys, worldwide smart phone shipments were up annually for the 2nd quarter in a row, growing around 6% with 355M units shipping. Samsung continued to lead the market, but its issues with the Note 7 are starting to affect its business. It shipped just over 76M units (excluding all Note7s), down 9% on year. (Canalys, press)

canalys-3q16-smartphone

UBS analyst Steven Milunovich indicates that results of a semiannual global smartphone survey showed that demand for Apple iPhone 7 model was strong in the U.S., with increasing interest in 7 Plus. In China, however, there were signs of softness in fiscal 2017, including lower interest in the 7 model than for the iPhone 6 / 6s models. Given “slower upgrading and lower China interest”, the potential upside in iPhone 7 sales is limited. (CN Beta, Fortune, Market Watch, Barron’s, blog, Street Insider, Apple Insider, IT Home, 265G)

ubs-likelihoold-to-purchase-iphone-7 ubs-interest-in-iphone-7-region ubs-retention-rates-by-major-participants ubs-apple-retention-rates-by-region

According to Strategy Analytics, Android’s domination of global smartphone shipments remained strong in 3Q16, with a record 87.5% of all smartphones now running Android. Android’s gain came at the expense of every major rival platform. Apple iOS lost ground to Android and dipped to 12% share worldwide in 3Q16, due to a lackluster performance in China and Africa. (Strategy Analytics, press, CN Beta)

strategyanalytics-ios-v-android-3q16

Lenovo allegedly to dismiss Lenovo-branded phones, and put it under Moto brand, and keeping the ZUK brand. (My Drivers, ChinaZ, iFeng, TechWeb)
Atlas Informatics announced that Microsoft, Nathan Myhrvold — the Intellectual Ventures co-founder and former Microsoft CTO — and Aspect Ventures are among the investors who have put a collective USD20.7M behind the company. (CN Beta, Geek Wire)

atlas-informatics

Facebook 3Q16 revenue rose more than 50% on year to USD7.1B, and net income rose more than 165% on year to USD2.37B. Over 1B people now use Facebook every day on mobile alone, and the service is closing in on 2B monthly active users. It has plowed USD4.35B in R&D in the first 9 months of 2016. (Facebook, The Verge, NY Times, WSJ, Recode, 163, iFeng, TechNews)

facebook-3q16-revenue

ZTE Cymbal-T flip phone is available in the Tracfone US – 3.5” HVGA touch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, 5MP + 2MP cameras, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, Android 5.1, LTE, USD99.99. (Phone Arena, Phone Scoop, HSN, ZTE)

zte-cymbal-t

Tablets and PC

Contraction in the global tablet market outpaced Apple’s, falling 10% during 3Q16 but average selling prices (ASPs) were up slightly higher at 7% due to many more vendors shifting resources toward 2-in-1 Tablets and away from traditional Slates, according to Strategy Analytics. (Strategy Analytics, press, EE Trend)

strategyanalytics-3q16-tablet

Wearables

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimates Apple would launch AR product in 1~2 years. Kuo sees Apple integrating AR to redefine key product lines, perhaps leapfrogging competitors by 3~5 years. Apple might also leverage AR tech to break into other fields such as automotive technology, or more specifically autonomous driving systems. (Apple Insider, CN Beta)
Greenlight Insights suggests the VR business will be “very modest” through 2018, and in an “inflexion zone” for the next 5 years before blossoming to USD38B in annual revenues by 2026. A clear shift from tethered to standalone HMDS, a timeline for 5G across several global markets, and the viability of VR for non-entertainment will fuel the market beyond 2020. (CN Beta, Greenlight Insights, 3DVR Central, VR Reporter, True Pundit)

greenlightinsights-total-us-vr-industry-revenue-2017-2026

L’Oréal is targeting salon stylists with its virtual reality hair education program in a partnership with 8i and hair care brand Matrix. (Venture Beat, Ubergizmo, Tencent, IT Home)

loreal-vr

Fitbit announced 3Q16 financial report—Revenue climbed 23% to USD504M, net income fell to USD26M. Fitbit has been shelling out to create new products and market them, and its operating expenses jumped from USD129M to USD196M. Fitbit has sold 5.3M devices, an increase from 4.8M of last year same period. (Forbes, Engadget, Fitbit, CN Beta)

fitbit-3q16-financial

Huawei Honor S1 is launched – Circular e-ink display, heart rate sensor, water resistant up to 50m, Real Time Operating System (RTOS), battery life of 6 days with average use, CNY699. (Android Authority, CN Beta, Tizen Experts)

huawei-s1-watch

Internet of Things

PowerBulb from Mega Tiny Corp doubles as a dual USB charger, harnessing the power of the lightbulb to charge mobile device or tablet. (CN Beta, The Verge, Kickstarter, Digital Trends)

powerbulb

Elagato’s Eve Motion  runs off a pair of AA batteries, detecting motion within a 120° field of view and 27ft. range. It is compatible with Apple HomeKit, and priced at USD50. (TechCrunch, Elgato, Mac Rumors, iClarified)

elgato-eve-motion

Businesses that use artificial intelligence (AI), big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to uncover new business insights “will steal USD1.2T per annum from their less informed peers by 2020.” So says Forrester. Across all businesses, there will be a greater than 300% increase in investment in artificial intelligence in 2017 compared with 2016. (CN Beta, Forbes, CNBC)

forrester-insights-driven-business-forecast-revenue

China Unicom and Baidu has signed a strategic partnership. Unicom will work with Baidu Mobile, Baidu Nuomi, Baidu Map, etc. and the next phase is to work on artificial intelligence (AI). (CN Beta, iFeng)

unicom-baidu-ai

Economy

The Indian economy has been slowing since May 2016, according to Credit Suisse. For instance, oil demand fell in Sept. 2016, the first decline in 22 months. Power demand growth has been near zero for 3 months. (Barron’s, blog)

creditsuisse-india-economy-slows-down

Economist expects nearly 35% of the China population, or around 480M consumers, to meet their definitions of upper middle-income and high-income by 2030. That represents a sharp increase on the 10% (132M) at present. The emergence of this large population, with a personal disposable income of at least USD10,000, will alter the consumer landscape in China. (Economist white paper, Economist white paper [cn])

economist-annual-disposable-income-per-capita-china-2030

In China, income will become more dispersed, rather than concentrated in first-tier cities on the eastern coast. Major interior cities, such as Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing and Wuhan are set to see sizeable leaps, with each having at least 2M high-income consumers by 2030.  But, smaller cities and those undergoing industrial restructuring risk being left behind, suggesting that high levels of income inequality will persist. (Economist white paper, Economist white paper [cn])

economist-noof-high-income-consumers-china

According to Economist, rising discretionary income will drive changes in consumer tastes and preferences. Around 30% of the spending by the average Chinese consumer is still allocated to food, compared with only 15% in South Korea. As income levels rise, consumers will look to upgrade consumption habits and switch to more expensive and premium brands. (Economist white paper, Economist white paper [cn])

economist-value-and-growth-of-retail-sales-china

Separate reports from Morgan Stanley and London based market research company Mintel Group Ltd. point to the potential growth of discretionary spending in China.Gross domestic product rose 6.7% in 3Q16 from a year earlier, paced by services, which expanded 7.6% in the year to date. Retail sales jumped 10.7% in Sept. 2016 from a year earlier. Consumption contributed 71% of GDP growth year to date, according to an estimate by Citigroup Inc. (199IT, Bloomberg, article, Business Mirror)

mintelgroup-china-consumers-trading-up

Amazon finally launched its Prime subscription service in China. Prime is a big deal in Amazon’s home market (the US), but it’s not likely to make much of a splash in China: 1) Amazon is a bit player in China; and, 2) No streaming content. (CN Beta, Tech in Asia, article, Statista)

statista-china-b2c-2015

Lazada, which took a USD1B investment from Alibaba earlier 2016, is spending USD30~40 million to buy Singapore-based RedMart. (TechCrunch, Reuters, The Drum, Tech in Asia, 36Kr)

alibaba-lazada-redmart

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