12-24 Happy Holidays: China’s smartphone market will be flooded with unsold phones from this year in 1Q17; One of the major shocker the financial sector got in 2016 was the fluctuation in the price of the Chinese Yuan to the US Dollar; etc.

Chipsets

MediaTek Helio X30’s market reaction reportedly has not been very positive so far. The 3 major smartphone companies in China namely, Huawei, OPPO, and vivo are not using this chipset in 2017. Even Taiwan-based HTC is not willing to go with this chip. So, MediaTek may eventually have to rely on Xiaomi and Meizu. (OfWeek, ZOL, Gizmo China)

mediatek-x30-not-popular

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) and Samsung’s 10nm processes have reached lower-than-expected yield rates, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press, Apple Insider, CN Beta)

digitimes-tsmc-smasung-10nm-low-yield-rate

Touch / Display

Foldable devices could become popular by 2019, grabbing around 20% share of the Korean smartphone market, said executive Kang Chung-seok of Kolon Industries, which is now the only company in the world that can mass produce colorless polyimide, a key technology for foldable devices as the flexible film can replace rigid glass sheets. He predicted that the first foldable devices, which could possibly be released in 2017, will have a bend radius of 5mm as opposed to market speculations of 1mm. (Android Authority, Korea Herald, CN Beta)

kolonindustries-kangchungseok

Huawei P10 is rumored equipped with dual-curved edge display, and supports wireless charging. (GSM Arena, GizChina, Gizmo China, CN Beta)

huawei-p10-dual-edge-2 huawei-p10-dual-edge

According to IHS Markit, total shipments of AMOLED displays for smartphones set a new record of 101M units in 3Q16. While Samsung Display continues to retain its dominant position with 99.7M units, 3 Chinese panel makers — EverDisplay Optronics (EDO), Tianma Micro-electronics and Govisionox Optoelectronics — shipped 1.4M units for 3Q16, representing a sharp increase from the approximate 590K units in the previous quarter. (IHS Markit, press, OLED-Info, C114)

ihs-major-chinese-amoled-smartphone-penetration

FocalTech Systems is expected to ship up to 4M TDDI (touch with display driver IC) solutions a month on average in 1Q17, up from 3M units in 4Q16, according to Digitimes. Strong demand from China-based smartphone vendors, including Huawei, OPPO, Xiaomi, Gionee and Coolpad, as well as Sharp and LG will help ramp up FocalTech’s TDDI solution shipments. (Digitimes, press, China Times, EE Focus)

focaltech-revenus

Taiwan flat panel maker AU Optronics (AUO), LCD driver IC supplier Novatek Microelectronics and driver IC packaging firm Chipbond Technology will benefit from Sharp‘s decision to suspend the supply of LCD panels to Samsung Electronics beginning 2017, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press, UDN, CNYES)

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou has visited Canon Tokki’s headquarters in Niigata, and reportedly Sharp has sped up the OLED production line construction. After some time of evaluation, Hon Hai has readjusted OLED production target, to move it up from 2018 to 2017. (CN Beta, Japan Times, SF Gate, Feng, Bloomberg)

Memory

SK Hynix has added its new 8GB LPDDR4 package to the family of mobile DRAM offerings. SK Hynix uses its 21 nm manufacturing technology to produce the 16 Gb LPDDR4 memory devices. (Android Headlines, AnandTech, WCCFTech, 163)

skhynix-8gb

Battery

In 2015 and early 2016, Swatch CEO Nick Hayek announced that he was taking the company in a new direction, launching a battery for electric vehicles with the goal of reaching USD10-15B sales by 2020. Investors called the plan expensive and unrealistic and with 2016 group sales predicted to be below last year’s CHF8.45B (USD8.36B), inventory rising and Hayek refusing to announce savings that go beyond day-to-day efficiency efforts, they are questioning the group’s strategy. (CN Beta, Reuters)

Connectivity

Google has announced that the free Wi-Fi service is now live in 100 train stations. Google revealed that its free Wi-Fi service — offered in collaboration with RailTel — has over 5 million monthly users, with 15,000 daily new additions. (Android Central, Mashable, India Times)

google-railtel

IEEE announced the launch of the IEEE 5G Initiative the purpose of engaging professionals worldwide from industry, government, and academia to work to solve the challenges associated with 5G and lay the foundation to realize its many opportunities. (Android Headlines, Business Wire, Converge Digest, C114)

Smartphones

China’s smartphone market will be flooded with unsold phones from this year in 1Q17, cautions Morgan Stanley. Analyst Jasmine Lu concurs that Huawei, OPPO, and vivo have bullish shipment targets in 2016 (YoY volume growth of 31-123%). They recently set the bar high again in 2017 (YoY growth of 21-114%) and have been trying to secure critical components (e.g., OLED panels, memory) in anticipation of their own share gains. (Barron’s, blog, WSJ, HKCD)

morganstanley-china-smartphone-market

Google was able to shave USD3.6B from its 2015 tax bill by relying on an elaborate system of loopholes known as the “Double Irish” and Dutch Sandwich”. (Bloomberg, The Verge, 163)

Brean Capital analyst Ananda Baruah believes Apple is looking at a quarter where earnings will exceed USD76B, topping the record set in Apple’s first fiscal quarter in 2016. He also expects to see a slight increase in revenue gleaned from Mac sales in 2016 versus the year-ago quarter, with a continued drop in iPad sales, but offset by the release of the Apple Watch in September. (CN Beta, Apple Insider)

breancapital-apple-76b-revenue

Nokia’s most recent suit includes 32 patents including those for antenna, chipset, software, user interface, and video coding. Nokia suggests that “Apple has declined subsequent offers made by Nokia to license other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple’s products.” (CN Beta, Slash Gear)

nokia-sues-apple-patents-list

One of the major shocker the financial sector got in 2016 was the fluctuation in the price of the Chinese Yuan to the US Dollar. This has led the major phone manufacturers including Gionee, Coolpad, OPPO, Huawei Honor to warn that there might be an increase in phone prices in 2017. (My Drivers, Gizmo China, 163, ZOL)

newspaper-usd-cny-china-mobile-phone-cost

Ulefone Gemini Pro is launched – 5.5” FHD display, MediaTek Helio X27 processor, dual rear 13MP-13MP + 13MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, Android 7.0, USB Type-C, under-glass fingerprint sensor, USD199.99. (Gizmo China, Android Headlines, GizChina)

ulefone-gemini-pro

Tablets / PCs

Xiaomi launching 2 Mi Notebook Air with 4G built-in, with free 4GB per month data plan from China Mobile – 12.5” / 13.3” 1920×1080 display, Intel Core M3-6Y30 (12.5”) / Intel Core i7-6500 (13.3”), 4GB / 8GB RAM, 128GB / 256GB SSD, USB Type-C, 37Wh / 40Wh battery, CNY4699 / CNY6999. (GSM Arena, Fonearena, Liliputing, Gizmo China, iFanr, People)

xiaomi-mi-note-4g

Wearables

Jeff Chang, the product manager of Android Wear at Google, has confirmed will launch 2 of its own Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches in early 2017. (Android Authority, The Verge, 163)

AxonVR, company currently working on a full-body haptic solution for VR, is developing HaptX textile that is said to deliver the feel of texture, shape, motion, vibration and temperature of virtual objects. It is built on top of NVIDIA’s PhysX, a middleware SDK that provides GPU acceleration for complex, real-time physics simulations. (eTekNix, AvonVR, Road to VR, NVIDIA, 21CN, 163, IT Home)

axonvr-leap

In their year-in-review for 2016, SuperData Research has crunched the numbers and revealed that the gaming industry is as big as it has ever been, generating USD91B in 2016. The first year for virtual reality was sobering, especially for manufacturers of dedicated hardware. They expect firms with more experience in hardware manufacturing like Sony and HTC to take the lead in 2017. (eTekNix, SuperData, report, Sina)

superdata-gaming-review-2016

Superflex has raised USD9.6M to introduce “powered clothing”, or apparel that enhances your strength just the way military exoskeletons do. It is targeting elderly people and others who need extra muscular help for tasks such as walking upstairs or getting up from a chair. (TechNews, The Verge, WSJ, VentureBeat)

superflex

Internet of Things

Faraday Future was going through a rough patch in regards to building its manufacturing facility in Nevada. Faraday has a heap of unpaid bills, lawsuits from vendors and a landlord in addition to losing senior employees. Owed cash is in the hundreds of millions, and it looks like if the company cannot secure more funding after CES in Jan. 2017, Faraday Future will be done for by Feb. 2017. (CN Beta, The Verge, Engadget, Buzzfeed News, Jalopink)

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