11-30: TSMC is reportedly planning to roll out a 12nm process node; Samsung is reportedly planning to introduce automatic focus (AF) function for a front-camera for Galaxy S8; etc.

Chipset

Instinet’s Romit Shah indicates that Intel sold a majority stake in McAfee, it could reduce operating expenses by almost USD1.5B (USD1.1B expected in 2017). He estimates restructuring, higher revenues and McAfee should reduce expenses to USD19B or 30% of sales. However, Intel in Oct. 2016 implied operating expenses of USD20.5B (34% of sales) on USD61B in revenue. In sum, he believes Intel is planning to reinvest more than USD1B of 2016’s cost savings in 2017. (Barron’s, blog, CN Beta)

TSMC is planning to roll out a 12nm process node to further enhance its competitiveness in the 28nm and more advanced technology segment. TSMC’s 12nm process will join its existing 16nm process portfolio to enable the foundry to better compete against rivals including Samsung and Globalfoundries. (Digitimes, press, 163)

TSMC’s co-CEO Mark Liu revealed that other than 10nm will be entering mass production end of 2016, 5nm has already started development. At the same time, there is a team of 300~400 people working on 3nm, and 2nm research has already begun too. (EEPW, Elecfans, DV Hardware)

TSMC is expected to post up to a 3% sequential decrease in consolidated revenues in the 1Q17, but will enjoy revenue growth in the following quarter. A 6M units cutback in 16nm chip orders from Apple (A10 for iPhone 7) will affect negatively TSMC’s performance in 1Q17. But, TSMC will start generating revenues from 10nm in the quarter (MediaTek Helio X10, Apple A11, HiSilicon Kirin 970). Demand for 28nm (mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon) continues to rise. (CEB2B, Digitimes, press)

Touch / Display

Restructuring of older display fabs, migration to larger-sized LCD TV panels and business strategy adjustments are some of the factors prompting LCD TV panel manufacturers to set a conservative shipment goal of 258.4M units in 2017, a 1.2% decline from 2016, according to IHS Markit. LCD TV panel unit shipments in 2016 are forecast to decline 5% on year-on-year basis with 261.6M. (Digitimes, IHS Markit, press, 51Touch)

ihs-lcd-tv-panel-2015-2017

According to Digitimes Research, China-based makers will together ship 2.4M AMOLED panels in 2016 and shipments will increase to 2.6M units in 2017, 3.5M units in 2018 and 4.8M units in 2019. Samsung Display has dominated the global supply of AMOLED panels used in smartphones, but China-based AMOLED makers will begin to challenge Samsung’s dominant market status in 2019. Coolpad, Xiaomi and ZTE adopted AMOLED panels produced by China-based EverDisplay Optronics (Shanghai), Tianma Micro-electronics and Govisionox Optoelectronics in 2016. (Digitimes, press, 51Touch)

digitimes-amoled-2019-china

PIC, or polyimide curing equipment makers keep their production lines humming to meet a rush of orders from  OLED display panel makers, as the self-lighting life-like picture quality panel makers are newly building or expanding capacity. The beneficiaries of the investment boom include VIATRON Technologies and TERA Semicon of Korea and YAC Denko and KOYO Thermo Systems of Japan. (iTer News)

iternews-pic-makers-oled-vendors

Camera

Samsung is reportedly planning to introduce automatic focus (AF) function for a front-camera of its next strategic phone called ‘Galaxy S8’ in order to increase quality of ‘selfie pictures’. (GSM Arena, ET News, Kejixun, HiAPK)

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a system that can predict the following events in images and generate videos to depict them. The system needs work — its current productions are simple, short, and unassuming — but it stands out for its unique. (Digital Trends, MIT, ZOL, 163)

mit-predict-image-make-video

Sensory

Google is training its deep learning AI to spot diabetic retinopathy (DR) before it becomes a problem, and without the help of an on-site doctor. Google has been developing a dataset of 128,000 individual images, each examined by 3-7 ophthalmologists from a panel of 54. By marking damaged areas of the eye – microaneurysms, hemorrhages and the like — and then feeding that data into a machine learning system, they managed to build a highly reliable diagnostic tool. (Engadget, Google, CN Beta)

google-ai-diabetes

Mobileye and Delphi announced a partnership to build an affordable self-driving car platform it could sell to automakers starting in 2019 earlier this year, and now Intel is joining the 2 automative suppliers to provide the chips used in their autonomous system. (TechCrunch, Bloomberg, CN Beta)

intel-selfdriving-car

Connectivity

Under the Japan government’s program of promoting application of information and communication technologies to next-generation ITS (intelligent transportation system), Panasonic is responsible for developing V2P (vehicle to pedestrian) technology to prevent pedestrians from being hit by vehicles. The V2P technology is based on 700MHz wireless communication and precise positioning of locations of vehicles and pedestrians. (Digitimes, press, Fudzilla)

panasonic-v2p

Smartphones

Worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to reach 1.45B units with a YoY growth rate of 0.6% in 2016 according to the latest forecast from IDC. 4G smartphones are still expected to show double-digit uptake at 21.3% YoY growth globally for 2016, reaching 1.17B units, up from 967M in 2015. (IDC, press, Android Headlines, Tencent)

idc-2020-forecast idc-4g-2020

UBS’ analyst Steven Milunovich estimates that production numbers of Apple iPhone for 4Q16 has dropped from 75M to 74M units, with 1Q17 estimates falling to 42M versus 43M. As a result of the iPhone SE being nearly a year, ASP should remain higher than all but 1Q16. Apple is estimated to sell 76M iPhones in 4Q16, an increase YoY of over 1M units. (CN Beta, Apple Insider)

ubs-iphone-procurement-plan-by-model ubs-iphone-demand-model

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple could ship between 90~110M iPhones in 2H17. Kuo says Apple’s suppliers are setting “ramp-up targets” at over 120M devices, and they may be able to ramp up production to supply 150M devices if demand is strong. (Business Insider, CN Beta)

kgi-apple-iphone-2017

According to Canalys, Huawei is ranked 3rd globally but still facing obstacles in US market. In 3Q16, Huawei’s share in US is merely 0.4%, far from Apple’s 39% and Samsung’s 23%. On the other hand, 2 other China’s vendors TCL and ZTE are performing well, with 9% and 6% market share in the US, respectively. (16RD, NASDAQ, Phandroid)

canalys-3q16-usa

vivo’s executive VP Hu Boshan, SVP Ni Xudong, and SVP Shi Yujian says that China Mobile data indicates that vivo “re-purchase rate” has achieved 33%,  which is the top 2 in the mobile industry. Re-purchase rate indicates the consumer purchase her next mobile phone of the same brand. The core value of vivo is “consumer driven” –  1) deeply understand the consumer’s actual requirements, 2) Non-compromised self R&D, 3) Quality assurance disregarding cost, 4) Stable supply chain, and 5) Superior sales experience. (EEPW, Elecfans, EE World, article, China Daily)

vivo-executives

The INR251 (or less than USD4) smartphone Freedom 251 has failed to meet the demands of the consumers and had to cancel the pre-orders and refund the money to consumers, according to the Noida-based maker Ringing Bells CEO Mohit Goel. (CN Beta, India, i4u)

freedom-251-ringing-bells

Jolla’s Sailfish OS now certified as Russian government’s first ‘Android alternative’. (CN Beta, TechCrunch, Yahoo)

Shenzhen Huihua Exploit Technology owned Bluboo Dual is announced –5.5” FHD display (from Sharp),  MediaTek MT6737 processor, dual rear 13MP-2MP + front 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, LTE, dual-SIM, 3000mAh battery. (Gizmo China, Bluboo, GSM Choice)

bluboo-dual

Meizu X is officially announced – 5.5” FHD 2.5D curved display (Sharp) using full in-cell, MediaTek Helio P20 MT6757  processor, 12MP PDAF + 5MP cameras, 3 / 4GB RAM, 32 / 64GB storage, Android 6.0 (Flyme 6.0), fingerprint scanner (mTouch), 3200mAh battery, from CNY1699. (163, My Drivers, CN Beta, YeSky, Gizmo China)

meizu-m-x

Meizu PRO 6 Plus is officially announced – 5.7” QHD Super AMOLED display with 3D Press, Samsung Exynos 8890 processor, 12MP PDAF OIS + 5MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64 / 128GB UFS 2.0 storage, Hi-Fi custom AD45275 op amp chip and upgraded SoLo amp circuit (2nd gen), 3400mAh battery, from CNY2999. (ZOL, Sohu, My Drivers, The VergeGizmo China)

meizu-pro-6-plus

YAAO 6000 Plus is launched in China – 5” HD display, MediaTek MT6735 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, YunOS, LTE, fingerprint sensor, 10900mAh battery, CNY1199. (Phone Radar, Android Headlines, MTKSJ)

yaao-6000-plus

Wearables

LG has recently filed for trademarks on the names LG Watch Style, LG Watch Force, LG Watch Pro, LG Watch Sole and LG Watch Pay, indicating that several new smartwatches could be in the pipeline. (Android Authority, GSMInfo, Phone Arena)

lg-watch-trademark-filing

PogoCam is the first modular product being designed by the company PogoTec. Basically, PogoTec is working with glasses manufacturers to build a magnetic strip called a PogoTrack into the right side of common glasses. It has a 5MP image sensor, taking a max. of 100 photo or 2mins of continuous 720p video. (CN Beta, The Verge, Peta Pixel)

pogocam

Insta360 Air launched on Indiegogo can live-streams 360° video — and snaps stills — using two 220° lenses, image stabilization, and integrated stitching software. Plugged into the top of the phone, the camera captures about 3,000 pixels stretched across that 360-degree view for stills, or 2K for videos at 30fps. (CN Beta,, Digital Trends, Indiegogo)

insta360-air

Valve is seeking alternative construction methods for its SteamVR Tracking Base Stations, with the aim of reducing HTC Vive costs by a significant margin. The “Lighthouse” Base Stations are among the most expensive components required for SteamVR Tracking, future innovations could simplify their inner workings without impacting performance, reducing the buy-in price for an HTC Vive setup by USD100 or more. (Digital Trends, Road to VR, IT Home)

htc-vive-streamvr-tracking-base-station

Internet of Things

Electrolux, the Swedish appliance maker, is exploring starting an “Uber for laundry” in which consumers would use their own washing machines to wash other people’s clothes. Jonas Samuelson, the new CEO, indicates that Electrolux us trying to overcome big hurdles to make the project work. (Engadget, Financial Times, Digital Trends, MSN, Daily Mail, 163, Tencent)

Next Amazon Echo device is going to feature a 7” touchscreen display, with which the users will be able to tap and use gesture to interact in addition to voice. (Ubergizmo, Bloomberg, CN Beta)

Ford has announced it will begin testing self-driving cars in Europe in 2017. The company currently has about 30 self-driving cars in its fleet, but it plans to triple that number in 2017, bringing the total number of cars in its fleet to about 100. (CN Beta, Business Insider, ZDNet, TechCrunch)

ford-self-driving-europe

After a 2% decline in worldwide TV shipments last year, 2016 is showing signs of a turnaround, with the market flattening out to end the year on 225M units, achieving a value of USD86B according to a new report from Futuresource Consulting. (Digitimes, Futuresource Consulting, press, 199IT)

futuresource-consulting-global-tv-2016

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