12-6: Xiaomi is one of the top buyers of US patents for 2016; Motorola plans to release at least 12 new Moto Mods each year; etc.

Chipset

Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT) tops the projected ranking of the top 10 fabless IC design houses worldwide based on annual revenues for 2016, according to TrendForce’s analysis. Broadcom Limited is expected to be runner-up, while MediaTek will take 3rd place. The ranking positions of these 3 companies are fairly secure in the short term because collectively they would represent about 65% of the total revenue generated all the design houses that are listed on top 10 ranking in 2016. (TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)

trendforce-global-fabless-ic-2016

SIA announced worldwide sales of semiconductors reached USD30.5B for the month of October 2016, an increase of 3.4% from last month’s total of USD29.5B and 5.1% higher than the October 2015 total of USD29.0B. (TechNews, SIA, press)

sia-oct-2016-sales sia-oct-semi-revenues-2016

Taiwan-based IC distributor WT Microelectronics has indicated it is in talks with LeEco on unpaid accounts receivable, and expects to reach an agreement to collect them. WT Micro disclosed total accounts receivable from LeEco was USD22.65M, of which USD18.74M was overdue. WT Micro added it has reached a consensus with LeEco to negotiate a repayment plan and is working on a contract. (Digitimes, Cheaa, China Times)

Touch / Display

“With the inkjet printing adoption, LG Display could reduce OLED panel prices, posing a direct threat to Chinese LCD makers,” said Yi Choong-hoon, senior analyst at UBI Research. LGD has been testing the more cost-effective inkjet printing technology along with the sole maker California-based Kateeva at its new OLED production plant in Paju, Gyeonggi Province. (TechNews, The Investor)

Israel-based inspection solutions provider Orbotech announced it signed an agreement to supply inspection and testing solutions for China’s BOE Display upcoming OLED TV fab. The deal is estimated at USD61M. (Globes, OLED-Info)

China-based touch panel maker Truly Opto-Electronics has produced 5.7” sample AMOLED panels at an existing factory acquired from Samsung Display, with such panels under trial use by China-based white-box smartphone vendors and independent design houses (IDHs). (Digitimes, press, 51Touch, OfWeek)

truly-5-68inch-fhd-amoled

Memory

Prices of NAND Flash rose in 3Q16 as smartphone makers continued to generate robust demand for related products and the technological transition from 2D-NAND to 3-NAND manufacturing reduced the industry’s overall output. TrendForce finds that the revenue of the global NAND Flash industry grew 19.6% sequentially in 3Q16. (Android Headlines, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)

trendforce-nand-3q16

Nanya Technology has announced the completion of its investment in Micron through private placement, and expects Micron’s takeover of Inotera Memories to materialize on 6 Dec. 2016. Nanya has acquired 57,780,138 Micron shares for a total of NTD31.46B (USD981.16M), which gives the Taiwan-based firm a 5.26% stake in the US company. Nanya has also obtained its option rights to use Micron’s 1x and 1y DRAM technologies. (UDN, TechNews, Digitimes, press)

Sensory

Hand-tracking company Leap Motion is announcing a new platform that will bring its tech to mobile phone-based VR headsets. The Leap Motion Mobile Platform uses 2 miniature cameras, embedded in a face plate, to detect finger motion that’s integrated into lower-powered VR experiences. It’s supposed to be showing up in commercial headsets in 2017. (TechCrunch, The Verge, Digital Trends, Tencent)

leapmotion-hand-gesture

Eyra showcasing a wearable Horus that could help the blind “see”. The headset is connected via a microUSB cable to a black plastic box the size of about half a paperback book. Nestled inside is NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 chip and a battery capacious enough to sustain the device for a full day of use. Horus is currently designed to read pieces of text, identify objects or recognize the faces of the people that you are speaking to. (CN Beta, Engadget, Eyra)

eyra

Battery

University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia claims to have achieved a 12.1% energy conversion efficiency rating for a 16cm2 perovskite solar cell, which is at least 10 times the size of current certified high-efficiency perovskite cells. (CN Beta, New Atlas, Renew Economy, UNSW)

unsw-perovskikte-solar-cell

Material

LG is reportedly considering using waterproofing adhesives for its upcoming flagship, tentatively called G6. Global adhesive makers such as Japan’s DIC and Hitachi, Germany’s Henkel and 3M of the US are competing to win the planned orders from LG. Another rumor adds wireless charging to the next G flagship, as well as a yet to be launched mobile payment service. (Android Authority, The Investor, GSM Arena, 163, iFeng)

Connectivity

AT&T is starting its first customer trials with their 5G network. The first business customer trial for the 5G network testing will be with Intel at their Austin, Texas offices. (Android Headlines, CN Beta, ZDNet, CNET, AT&T)

Smartphones

Richardson Oliver Law (ROL) Group LLP, a firm specialized in the purchase and acquisition of patents, lists Xiaomi as one of the top buyers of US patents for 2016. It also puts Huawei on the list of patent buyers. Xiaomi has over 7000 patents of which 6200 have been granted and 5200 have been published. (CN Beta, Sohu, Gizmo China)

richardsonoliverlaw-patents-ranking-usa

Qihoo 360 mobile VP Li Kaixin shares results of 2016, and plan for 2017. In 2016 5M units of 360 mobile phones shipped. And, in 2017 Qihoo 360 will return to its usual business, to use hardware to make profit. (CN Beta, iFeng, Huanqiu, VVCat)

360mobile-product-lines

Motorola plans to release at least 12 new ones each year. Motorola has an upcoming partnership with crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to solicit ideas and offer free Moto Z phones and Moto Mod developer kits to enterprising engineers. (CN Beta, TechRadar, CNET, Android Police)

Pegatron Corporation Chairman Tong Zixian indicates that electronic manufacture supply chain is massive and complicated, thus moving Apple iPhone manufacture back to USA is extremely challenging. According to Trefis, Costs could rise by an estimated USD80~90 if the various iPhone components were to be made in the United States as well. (CN Beta, Sohu, Forbes, Trefis, UDN, China Times)

pegatron-discussing-made-in-india

BlueFin analysts John Donovan and Steve Mullane indicates that from their recent Apple supply chain update, they see the smaller iPhone 7 and the SE models being cut in terms of total units produced. 1Q17 iPhone builds have been reduced from 59M to 53M, with sharp reductions in iPhone 7 and SE models, while the iPhone 7 Plus remained unchanged. For the 1H17, total builds have been reduced 8M to 99M. (Barron’s, blog, TechNews)

bluefin-apple-1q17-production

HMD Global CEO Arto Nummela indicates that the first Android-powered Nokia smartphones are expected to hit the market by June 2017. The company will aim for global availability “at the start of operations”. These devices will be largely (or solely) manufactured by Foxconn International Holdings (FIH). He also says that HMD Global will offer handsets at a wide variety of prices, adding that “India is one of our key markets”. (Android Headlines, Phone Arena)

hmd-ceo-arto-nummela

Google has reported a 44% increase in annual revenues in India for the fiscal year ending March 2016. Digital ad spending in India is growing significantly, with a projected CAGR for 2016 being 35%. And search and display advertisements account for nearly 50% of this spend. (CN BetaForbes)

google-for-india-2016

Meitu M6s is launched – 5” FHD AMOLED display, MediaTek MT6755 processor, 21MP + 21MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB ROM, Android 6.0 (MEIOS 3.3), 4G+, 2900mAh battery, CNY2399. (CN Beta, TechWeb,163)

meitu-m6s

Dual-camera equipped Oukitel U20 Plus is launched – 5.5” FHD display (Sharp), MediaTek MT6737T processor, dual rear 13MP—VGA + 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 6.0, 3300mAh battery, USD89.99. (Phone Arena, Techphile, GizChina)

oukitel-u20-plus

DAMI M7 and M7 Plus are announced, powered by MediaTek octa-core processor (MT6755 or MT6750), 16MP PDAF + 16MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64 / 128GB storage, Android 6.0, LTE, dual-SIM, USB Type-C, lifestyle water resistant: M7 – 5.2” FHD sapphire cover display, 2500mAh battery, from CNY2599. M7 Plus – 5.5” FHD sapphire cover display, 3000mAh battery, from CNY2799.

(CN Beta, TechSir, 163)

dami-m7-m7-plus

Wearables

While the smartwatch market took a tumble this quarter, the overall wearables market grew 3.1% year over year in 3Q16. Total wearables shipments reached 23M in the quarter, according to IDC. Basic wearables, primarily comprised of fitness bands, accounted for 85% of the market and experienced double-digit growth. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, IDC, press)

idc-3q16-wearables idc-3q16-wearables-3

Cronovo EKG Smartwatch is a smart wearable device that can measure your heart rate, HRV, metabolic rate, breathing, and other health metrics. The device can serve for real-time intensity and recovery tracking. (CN Beta, PRWeb, Digital Trends, Cronovo, Cool Wearable)

cronovo cronovo-ecg

Internet of Things

Volkswagen Group is launching Moia, a new separate company that will exist under the VW umbrella of brands focused specifically on providing mobility solutions, including fleet-based commuter shuttles and, eventually, autonomous on-demand transportation. (TechCrunch, Moia, Tencent)

volkswagen-moia

OpenAI has released Universe, a software platform that “lets us train a single [AI] agent on any task a human can complete with a computer”. At the same time, Google parent Alphabet is putting its entire DeepMind Lab training environment codebase on GitHub, helping anyone train their own AI systems. (Engadget, DeepMind Lab, OpenAI, Bloomberg, 163)

deepmind-lab

Uber has acquired Geometric Intelligence. Uber has also created a new research effort, called Uber AI Labs that will be headed by Geometric Intelligence CEO Gary Marcus. (CN Beta, ZDNet, NY Times, Bloomberg, The Tech Portal)

uber-ai-labs

China-based vendors will together ship 83.6M LCD TVs under their own brands or acquired foreign brands in 2016, increasing 15% on year for a combined global market share of 33.9% and exceeding the 73.5M units to be shipped by the world’s top-2 vendors Samsung and LG, according to China Sigmaintell Consulting. (Digitimes, press, Sigma Intell, press)

sigmaintell-2016-tv

Every year, the team of futurists, analysts, and consultants in Frost & Sullivan’s Visionary Innovation Group takes a pause from looking at 10-year horizons and comes together to identify the trends that will make the biggest impact in the coming year. Here is the top 17 tech trends for 2017. (Forbes, article, CN Beta)

frostsullivan-top-17-tech-trends-2017

Commerce

Amazon launches Amazon Go physical stores, in which shoppers use an app, also called Amazon Go, to scan the products they plan to buy, then they can walk out of the building without waiting in a checkout line. (CN Beta, WSJ, BGR, Forbes, The Guardian, CNET, Yahoo)

amazon-go

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