12-28: South Korea Fair Trade Commission has fined a record USD853M on Qualcomm Inc. for violating antitrust laws; MIIT indicates users can uninstall non-essential preloaded apps from Jul. 2017; etc.

Chipset

South Korea’s antitrust regulator South Korea Fair Trade Commission has fined a record KRW1.03T (USD853M) on Qualcomm Inc. for violating antitrust laws. (Barron’s, WSJ, CN Beta, Reuters, Android Central)

Touch / Display

Apple is going to have entire supply of FPCBs, which will be used for OLED iPhone that is expected to be released in 2017, delivered from South Korean FPCB (Flexible Printed Circuit Board) manufacturers—Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Interflex, and BHE, all are partners of Samsung Display.  (ET News, Laoyaoba, TechNews)

Hannstar indicates that because of Chinese New Year, shipment in Dec. 2016 and Jan. 2017 would be slightly reduced. In overall, order visibility for 1H17 is still quite high. Hannstar operation VP Huang Kaisheng indicates that, for feature phones in 2017, the screen size is increased to 2.4” on average, and demand for panel area size will increase 30%; for entry-level smartphones, the average screen size will increase from 4.5” to 5”~5.2”. (TechNews, MoneyDJ, China Times)

hannstar-revenues

Biometrics

NEC is touting NeoFace facial recognition technology. Around 1,400 employees from 2 different Japanese finance companies are taking part in the trial, which began earlier Dec. 2016 and last until Jan. 2017. NEC is hoping to have the tech ready to show off by 2020 for the Tokyo Olympics. (TechNews, CNET, NEC)

nec-face-recognition

Battery

Panasonic has confirmed that it is investing USD256M in Tesla’s solar cell manufacturing plant in New York. (Ubergizmo, Reuters, eTekNix, 163, iFeng)

Data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) show that the average price of solar energy in almost 60 countries including China, India and Brazil dropped to USD1.65M per megawatt during 2016, just below wind at USD1.66 million per megawatt. (TechNews, Science Alert, Bloomberg)

bloomberg-solar-prices-fall-below-wind

Connectivity

China government released 13th 5-year plan for information planning, targeting by 2018, to initiate 5G network technology development and testing tasks—speed up 5G technology development and commercialization, speed up next generation TV broadcast infrastructure construction, push next generation Internet commercial use, enhance future network security, etc. (CN Beta, Gov.cn, KWM)

china-13-5-targets

Smartphones

Apple tops 2016 World Brand Lab’s annual list of the World’s 500 Most Influential Brands for 2016.  The 13th World’s 500 Most Influential Brands, compiled by New York-based consultancy World Brand Lab. Google and Amazon ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively. 36 Chinese brands have made it onto the list in 2016. (CN Beta, ECNS, World Brand Lab)

world-brand-lab-top100-2016

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has published a set of preliminary regulations which demand smartphones sold in China beginning in July 1, 2017 come with a functionality that enables users to uninstall non-essential preloaded apps. (TechNews, Gov, CAC.Gov, Digitimes, press)

Finland-based HMD Global is expected to announce its 1st Nokia-branded smartphones in Feb. 2017 at Mobile World Congress (MWC), and has been cooperating with supply chain makers in Taiwan to develop 4 more models for launch in 2Q / 3Q17, according to industry sources, citing Digitimes. (Android Authority, 163, Digitimes, press, Yesky)

OPPO is planning an industrial park in Greater Noida India which will house a manufacturing unit. President of OPPO India Sky Li indicates that the industrial park is spread over 1,000 acres and entails investment of about USD216M. The industrial park is expected to complete by 3 years and aims to have a capacity of 50M units which will further to 100M in future. (CN Beta, TechNews, BGR, India Times, Tech Portal)

It is unlikely to further sweeten the deal for Apple to start manufacturing in India with its contract manufacturer Foxconn. Three departments within the Indian government are looking into Apple’s demands for incentives. They are: the department of industrial production and promotion, department of revenue and department of information and technology. (CN Beta, Hindustan Times)

Samsung’s Malaysian outfit teased an image that suggests the upcoming phones in the Galaxy A series will be water-resistant. (CN Beta, Android Central, Facebook)

samsung-galaxy-a-water-resistance

Samsung spent more than EUR12.53B (USD13B) on R&D in the last fiscal year, data from the European Commission shows. The EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard puts Samsung Electronics on the 2nd place overall, behind only Volkswagen Group. (Android Authority, European Union, iFeng, Hexun)

Basic RGB

Flurry has revealed in 2016 holiday season Apple has 44% share of all device activations. For every Samsung device that was activated, Apple saw more than 2. Samsung came in 2nd place with 21% share, far behind Apple but also well ahead of 3rd place finisher Huawei with just 3%. (Apple Insider, Flurry, IT Home, iFeng)

flurry-top-device-activations-by-vendors flurry-device-activation-holiday-seasons

Samsung will reportedly use Bixby (powered by Viv’s intelligence) in almost all the native apps that would come pre-installed on the Galaxy S8. (Ubergizmo, Sam Mobile, ChinaZ)

According to research company Sino, 1H16 in China market Chinese consumers are buying more expensive phones—CNY3000 and above sales increases 85%, CNY2500~3000 increases 124%, on the other hand, about CNY700 drops 13%.  Smartphone has become a commodity, and when consumers buying a phone, cost is not the only factor, they will also consider brand and also quality. (CN Beta, Tencent, Sina, article)

Smartisan CEO Luo Yonghao indicates that the company’s target is to become China’s top 5 in 3~5 years, and to become top 3 globally within another 3~5 years. Luo Yonghao also believes VR will become the next generation computing platform in 8~10 years, thus the company must grab this opportunity. (CN Beta, TechNews)

Qihoo 360 mobile leader Li Kaixin is promoted to be the company’s president, responsible of all mobile phone business. He stresses that the company is back to its originality—making products, making money with hardware, which is his task in 2017. In 2016, Qihoo 360 has sold more than 5M units of mobile phones. (Laoyaoba, ZOL, Tencent)

360mobile-lee-kaixing

CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group Richard Yu indicates that the company has reached its 2016 smartphone sales target of 140M units. Huawei P9 since launched in Apr. 2016 till Nov. 2016, the shipment has exceeded 9M units, and expects the whole lifecycle will reach 12M units, while Mate 8 has shipped 7M units globally. (CN Beta, ZOL, Qudong, Sohu)

huawei-richard-yu

ASUS announces Zenfone Go 4.5 LTE in India – 4.5” FWVGA display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 processor, 8MP + 2MP cameras, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, Android 6.0 (ZenUI), 2070mAh battery, INR6999. (Android Authority, BGR, Phone Radar)

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Tablets / PCs

As the mobile device market is no long seeing strong growth, Asustek Computer has been reorganizing its loss-making tablet business since 1H16, while Gigabyte Technology is also planning to adjust operations for some of its poorly-performing subsidiaries such as Gigabyte Communications, which mainly handles the company’s GSmart smartphone products, and Gigazone International, which handles PC and handset peripheral products. (Digitimes, press)

Cuba inaugurated its first laptop and tablet factory to produce close to 500 units per day. State-run ICT company Gedeme (which belongs to the ministry of industries) and the University of Computer Sciences (UCI) have been the most active entities in pushing the project. Chinese electronics company Haier will supply the technology and equipment used in the factory, as well as the raw materials and productive processes needed to manufacture the devices. (CN Beta, Engadget, Granma, Telesur)

cuba-1st-factory

Internet of Things

For 2017, AI predictions from Stuart Frankel of Narrative Science are related to how we will communicate with computers and other devices, how AI systems will communicate with each other, and how we will communicate with each other about AI. (199IT, Read Write, PC Mag)

narrativescience-2017-ai-predictions

According to CB Insights, from stopping cyberattacks to operating autonomous vehicles to visually searching through a wine database, 140+ startups using AI as a core part of their products raised USD1.05B in funding in 3Q16. (CB Insights, 199IT)

cbinsights-ai-annual-global-financing-history

Le Supercar (China) COO Zhang Hailiang announces the 1st eco-system auto industry park begins construction in China. The size of the park is about 4000 acre, and 1st phase investment is about CNY11B with 2000 acre. After finishing the construction, the production capacity would be about 400K cars. (CN Beta, 163, Xinhuanet, Sina)

lesee-pro-china-construction-begins

Amazon has shipped more than 1B items around the world for the holiday season through its Prime and Fulfillment services, more than 5 times its sales holiday season in 2015, between 1 Nov. to 19 Dec. 2016; and receiving a record number of orders for its own Amazon Echo Dot devices. (CN Beta, USA Today, LA Times, Business Insider, Live Mint, Amazon, Business Wire)

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