11-22: Google will cease support for Android 2.3 / 3.0 from early 2017; Samsung’s recent M&As and launches of new products suggest that it clearly shifted the focus of its core business to software; etc.


Qualcomm has confirmed that the model number for its next-generation flagship chipset is MSM8998, so it would appear that there will not  be an SoC with Snapdragon 830 branding. MSM8998 will use a 10nm FinFET process, which will be made in partnership with Samsung, expected to ship in 1H17. (Neowin, CN Beta)

Microsoft is actively investing in the creation of a real, scaleable quantum computer that can be used to tackle real-world problems. (Digital Trends, Microsoft, Xinhuanet)


Alexander Tait’s team at Princeton University in New Jersey has built the world’s first integrated silicon photonic neuromorphic chip and show that it computes at ultrafast speeds. (TechNews, Nature World News, Technology Review, The Tech News, Princeton)


Qualcomm, Samsung, MediaTek, Apple and Spreadtrum are gearing up to roll out their 10nm mobile chips which will be shipped in smartphones during 2017. (Digitimes, press)


Touch / Display

Apple’s gross margins on iPhone sales — a measure of the raw underlying profitability of its business — have declined from 57.7% in 2009 to just 41% in 2016, according to analysts at Bernstein Research. They expect it to sink to a “mere” 39% in 2018. They think as the devices’ new form factor, OLED screen and increased functionality (wireless charging) will invariably drive up iPhone’s BOM, either necessitating a further price increase in the device, or potentially pressuring gross margins in 2018. (CN Beta, ZDNet, Apple News, Business Insider)



ADATA introducing its 3rd SSD featuring 3D NAND memory. The new SD700 is a dust, water and shockproof drive that has up to 1TB of capacity as well as a weight of only 100g. The SSD uses the USB 3.0 interface and is compatible with the majority of modern PCs. (AnandTech, EE Board)



Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller sees producing batteries for electric vehicles as a logical move as the automaker expands its production of EV and plug-in hybrid cars— if more than a quarter of their cars to be EVs in the future, then 3M batteries a year are needed, thus it is logical to build their own factory. (CN Beta, Speed Lux, Auto News)


Jonghwan Park, executive vice president and head of Samsung’s car components division indicates that if they are to adopt Harman’s high-end audio technology for the Galaxy S series phone, the first model could come in 2018. (Android AuthorityThe Investor, Huanqiu)


Shanghai Jiao Tong University have detailed how a computer program can be developed to detect a person’s criminal profile just by their facial features. It uses algorithms applied to 1,856 standard ID photographs of Chinese males from age 18 through 55, selected for not having facial hair, scars or other markings as control. (eTekNix, arXiv, The Sun, Metro, Sina)



Canada’s Wind Mobile has rebranded Freedom Mobile as it looks to move into a new phase of maturity under new owner, Shaw Communications. (Android Central, Digital Trends, Toronto Sun)

Apple has reportedly disbanded its internal wireless router development team, assigning engineers to other, more lucrative projects within the company, and bringing to an end the development of Apple-branded routers including AirPort Extreme, Time Capsure and AirPort Express, etc. (Apple Insider, Bloomberg, My Drivers, 163)


IBM is allocating USD200M to the cybersecurity market, which includes a new global security headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the expansion of capabilities and capacity for the global network of IBM’s X-Force Command Centers, and the creation of IBM X-Force Incident Response and Intelligence Systems (IRIS), an incident response and intelligence consulting team. (CN Beta, Security Intelligence, Investopedia, Yahoo)

China’s MIIT announced on 21 Nov. 2016 that China has completed 1st phase of trial of 5G, and from Sept. 2016 till Sept. 2017, it will begin 2nd phase of trial, which focuses mainly on standard equipment specification and testing standards. (CN Beta, CNFOL, 163, MIIT)



Google has announced that form early 2017, it will cease support for 2 of its oldest remaining Android versions in an upcoming update to Google Play Services—Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Gingerbread is admittedly one of the strongest Android versions around. (CN Beta, Slash GearGoogle)

A Stanford study of 7,804 middle school, high school and college students has found that most of them could not identify fake news on their own. 82% of middle school kids did not see why they should not trust a bank executive’s post claiming that young adults need financial help, while nearly 40% of high schoolers did not question the link between an unsourced photo and the claims attached to it. (TechNews, WSJ, Engadget, Pittsburg)

Oppenheimer & Co.’s analyst Andrew Uerkwitz believes that Apple is about to embark on a decade-long malaise, as “fewer hardware breakthroughs are available today that can trigger favorable mix shift.” Nor is he impressed with Apple’s software and its services offerings. (CN Beta, MSN, Barron’s, blog)

Xiaomi is transitioning the most critical parts of their after-sales operations in-house in India, aiming for a significant improvement in the service. As part of this transition, within 2 years of operation, the company has more than 100 service centers in the country, of which 70+ are exclusive service centers. (Android Authority)

The latest survey conducted by Reuters / Ipsos in all 50 US states shows that even though Samsung‘s name was all over the news and papers for quite some time over the Galaxy Note7 debacle, its reputation remains unhurt in the weeks to follow — 91% of the current Samsung users would buy another Samsung smartphone in the future. (Reuters, GSM Arena, Tech Times, Softpedia, Yahoo, Tencent)

Samsung and Panasonic are facing allegations of widespread abuse in their supply chain and have launched investigations into whether Nepalese migrant workers are being exploited in Malaysia. (CN Beta, The Guardian, Today Online, PCR Online)

Samsung’s recent M&As and launches of new products suggest that it clearly shifted the focus of its core business to software (SW). Expectations are also soaring that Samsung will make a successful transition to the SW-based ICT business, while emphasizing the importance of the SW business for more than 7~8 years and experiencing various failure.  (Business Korea, Verdict, Android Headlines, Tencent)


India is set to consume USD80B worth of mobile phone components over the next 5 years, a new study conducted by Counterpoint Research and IIM Bangalore. The contribution of domestically manufactured mobile phones has increased from 14% in 2014 to 67% in 2016 and is further estimated to reach 96% by 2020. However, 67% of the handsets manufactured in India contribute to just 6% of the true local value addition with most of the OEMs still importing Semi Knocked Down components (SKDs). (CN Beta, BGR, Economic Times, Telecom Lead, iFeng)


New limited edition ZTE Axon 7 with force touch is launched – 5.5” QHD display with force touch, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 20MP + 8MP cameras, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, Android 6.0 (MiFavor), USB Type-C, 3250mAh battery, USD500. (Android Central, Liliputing)


Entry level ZTE ZMax 3 is launched on AT&T – 5.5” HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, 8MP + 2MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, LTE Cat.4, USB Type-C, 3000mAh battery. (Phone Arena, Android Headlines)


Tablets / PCs

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has taken some of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s words and gently wafted them right back at him, “3 years ago, the two-in-one as a form factor was questioned. Does anybody need one? And now guess what, even our competition has decided that it is not a refrigerator and a toaster, but it is actually a two-in-one.” (CN Beta, CNET)


Samsung is bringing VR into the classroom to promote a better and more advanced way of learning for students via its latest venture, the VR Eduthon. On the whole, the technology uses a “seeing is believing” approach as an effective study method for students who get to experience their lessons with VR technology. (Android Headlines, Samsung, YahooHiAPK)


MSI released its VR One backpack PC designed for VR, equipped with an Intel Core i7 and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060/1070. The key components of the backpack are cooled down using an MSI proprietary cooling system featuring nine heatpipes and two blowers. It is priced from USD1999. (AnandTech, 3DM Game, PC Online)


Researchers are now dabbling with the idea of using simulations to embody the personalities of the deceased, essentially bringing the dead back to life to help loved ones cope with their passing. Muhammad A. Ahmad from the department of computer science at the University of Minnesota has launched a project to bring this idea to reality. (CN Beta, Daily Mail, Mushtaq Ahmad Mirza)

Parents may soon be able to watch their unborn babies grow in realistic 3-D immersive visualizations, thanks to new technology that transforms MRI and ultrasound data into a 3-D virtual reality model of a fetus, according to research being presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). (CN Beta, NBC News, Medical Express)


MOCAcuff is the latest wireless blood pressure monitor from MOCACARE, a company that specializes in developing cardiovascular monitoring devices that are technically advanced, yet easy to use, and it is FDA approved. It is priced at USD69.99. (CN Beta, Tech Aeris, Android Headlines, Pocketables)


Internet of Things

The LeSEE super car factory in Moganshan, East China’s Zhejiang Province, will begin construction at the end of 2016 “as scheduled,” according to a statement from LeEco. The statement followed media reports over the weekend saying there is no sign of construction work on the CNY20B (USD2.9B) industrial park. (CN Beta, IT Home, Global Times)


Dashbot is a smart AI assistant, designed to be 100% voice-controlled. It connects to a smartphone app via Bluetooth to control music, maps. It has built-in support for playlists, podcasts, and streaming services like Spotify, Google Play Music, Apple Music, SoundCloud, and more. (Digital Trends, Geeky Gadgets, PC Mag, Kickstarter, eNorth)


Google announced that it has acquired Qwiklabs, a hands-on learning platform for those who want to become more familiar with operating cloud environments and writing applications that run on them. (TechCrunch, Google, CN Beta)

Google has invested a total of CAD4.5M (USD3.4M) in AI research in Montreal’s Institute for Learning Algorithms, with an academic fund covering three years that will help pay for seven faculty members across various Montreal academic institutions, including the University of Montreal and McGill. (TechCrunch, CN Beta, Ars Technica, Google)

According to CB Insights, 2016’s annual funding figure for electric vehicles, on pace to hit nearly USD2B, has been driven by mega-rounds to newcomer OEMs seeking to follow Tesla in developing their own electric vehicles from the ground up. Many of these EV companies are also targeting the “full stack” of next-generation mobility technologies, seeking to develop not just the vehicles themselves but also the automated driving technology to pilot them. (CB Insights, press, 199IT)


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