11-6: Rumors of LeEco’s financial problem; LeEco CEO’s internal email admits the expansion is too fast; etc.

Chipset

NXP Semiconductor, the world’s largest chip supplier to the automotive industry, expects efforts to make self-driving cars will lead to more consolidation in its sector, says the company’s automotive head Kurt Sievers. (CN Beta, Fortune, Reuters)

Smartphones

At the time when LeEco’s issue of “financial tension” being frequently quenstioned, LeEco is still spending money. It is important to LeEco to convince the market its financial status is stable. On 3 Nov. 2016, LeEco has already denied the news of “LeEco owes suppliers more than CNY10B, and the said suppliers already stop supplying components to LeEco”. LeEco claims its relationship with suppliers is well sustained, and business is turning positive, thus there is no financial tension. (CN Beta, 163, Tencent)
In regards to a series news about LeEco, CEO Jia Yueting released an internal email. In the email, he admits the holding company has been expanding too fast, and requires reflection. This internal email is an indicator that after a few years, this is the first time the company has announced a break from the accelerating expansion. (CN Beta, Sohu, 163, Tencent)

leeco-subsidised-projects

KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo forecasts Apple iPhone shipment volumes of 40M~50M units for 1Q17, down YoY from 51.2M units, on conservative sell-through for 4.7” iPhones and weakening demand in China. Looking ahead, he estimates total iPhone shipment volume to reach 35M~40M units in 2Q17, down from 40.4M units at the same time last year. (Apple Insider, CN Beta)
Samsung will offer an artificial intelligence assistant service in the upcoming flagship smartphone, as the firm seeks recovery from its global smartphone recalls. Samsung acquired in Oct. 2016 Viv Labs Inc., a Silicon Valley startup launched by the same entrepreneurs who sold Siri to Apple. (CN Beta, CNBC, IB Times, Korea Herald)
Alphabet has quietly disclosed a Snapchat investment through its rebranded CapitalG venture capital arm, previously known as Google Capital. Before it renamed itself to Snap Inc in Sept. 2016, Snapchat had most recently raised USD1.81B in a May 2016 round of funding. That funding round valued the company around USD20B.  (Digital Trends, Business Insider, Android Headlines, Tencent)
Turkish manufacturer General Mobile launching Nougat-powered Android One smartphone GM 5 – 5” HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, 13MP + 5MP camera, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, LTE, dual-SIM, 2500mAh battery. (GSM Arena, General Mobile, Liliputing)

generalmobile-gm5

UMi Diamond and Diamond X are announced, both feature 5” HD IPS LCD display, 8MP + 2MP cameras, Android 6.0, LTE, dual-SIM, 2650mAh battery: Diamond – MediaTek MT6753 processor, 3GB RAM, 16GB ROM, USD99.99. Diamond X – MediaTek MT6737 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, USD79.99. (Gizmo China)

umi-diamond-x

Wearables

The Norwegian Consumer Council examines the T&Cs and privacy policies of the Fitbit Charge HR, Garmin VivoSmart HR, Mio Fuse, and Jawbone UP3 — and flags up a range of failures, as the body sees it, including that none of the companies will give users proper notice about changes in their terms, all of the wristbands collect more data than what is necessary to provide the service, etc. (TechCrunch, Forbruker Radet report, Sohu, Qdaily)

norwegian-consumer-council-privacy-of-wearables

Apple has enhanced its iOS accessibility features for users with hearing impairments, adapting its enhanced Bluetooth-based streaming to Made For iPhone (MFi) hearing aids while introducing Live Listen, a feature that uses an iPhone’s mic to focus on conversations in loud environments. (Apple Insider, CN Beta)

apple-mfi-hearing-impairment

Xiaomi has launched a sports Bluetooth headset Mi Sports Bluetooth Headset – Built-in MEMS microphone for clear audio, waterproof and sweatproof (IPX4), Bluetooth 4.1, 110mAh battery, CNY149. (GSM Arena, Fonearena, OfWeek, My Drivers)

xiami-sports-bluetooth-headset

Internet of Things

According to Satyalit Das on MarketWatch, all workers, irrespective of profession and skill, now face what John Maynard Keynes called “technological unemployment”. A much-cited research study by Oxford University found that 47% of all employment (80M jobs in the U.S. and 15M in the U.K.) are threatened by automation. (Market Watch, article, TechNews)
Xiaomi Toy Block is an educational robot with LEGO like pieces that helps children learn a thing or two about coding. The kit comes with wheels, gears, and everything you need to get started. The robot will be powered by an ARM Cortex-M3 chip. It also has a visual programming interface. (TechNews, 36Kr, Robotic Gizmos)

xiaomi-stem-robot

By 2020, smart machines will be a top 5 investment priority for more than 30% of CIOs, according to Gartner. Brian Prentice, research vice president at Gartner indicates that the vision of the fully autonomous vehicle will not become reality for any car manufacturer, but there will be smaller, more pragmatic applications of machine learning in automobiles that will improve safety and driver experience. (Gartner, full report, Indian Express, ZDNet, CN Beta)

gartner-experience-constraints-for-different-smart-machine-approaches

Meizu launches a new Android TV box, dubbed Meizu Box, powered by 64-bit quad core Cortex A53 processor with Mali 450 MP5 GPU, 1GB RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The Meizu TV Box comes with support for 4K decoding and is based on Android Marshmallow 6.0 with Flyme TV. (Android Headlines, TechPP, Sohu)

meizu-box

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