01-12: Reportedly Samsung is expected to roll out more than 100K units of fold-out devices in 3Q17; Sony reportedly will adopt OLED display for its Xperia smartphones from 2018; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm has added support for Google’s open source machine learning service, TensorFlow, to Snapdragon 835. Qualcomm explains that they have been working with Google in order to optimize TensorFlow to run on the Snapdragon 835’s integrated Hexagon 682 DSP (Digital Signal Processor). (Android Headlines, Qualcomm, 9to5Google)

qualcomm-tensorflow-dsp-feature

Although Qualcomm is the only ARM licensee to strike a deal with Microsoft to allow legacy Windows 10 apps to run on its processors, ARM executives say there are no legal limitations preventing others from doing so as well. (TechNews, PC World)

[CES 2017] Rockchip launches new TV STB processor RK3328, a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 SoC that is able to play 4K videos with H.265, H.264 and VP9 codecs, other than that it features HDR, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet to say a few. (GizChina, iGeekPhone, Sohu, My Zaker)

rockchip-rk3328

Touch / Display

Reportedly Samsung is expected to roll out more than 100K units of fold-out devices in 3Q17. The smartphone, whose panels face outward upon folding, may be used as a 18cm tablet when unfolded. LG is also expected to produce more than 100K foldable devices in 4Q17. (Android Headlines, The Investor, CN Beta, IT168)

samsung-fold-out-smartphone

Strategy Analytics has predicted the foldable display market will reach 163M units by 2022 from 2.7M units in 2017. (Android Headlines, The Investor)

Sony reportedly will adopt OLED display for its Xperia smartphones from 2018. (CN Beta, GSM Arena, Nikkan, Xperia Blog)

Sony has showcased CLEDIS (crystal LED integrated structure) large-size displays, signaling that commercial application of micro LED will soon take off, according to Taiwan-based LED makers. Taiwan-based Playnitride plans to begin production of micro LED chips for use in large-size displays and smart wearable devices at 2Q/3Q17, with yield rates aimed at 70-80%. (Digitimes, press, CN LEDW, OfWeek, PJ Time)

sony-cledis

Camera

Israeli startup Corephotonics, which is developing dual camera technologies for smartphones, has completed a USD15M financing round. Since it was founded in 2012, the Tel Aviv based company has raised more than USD50M. Strategic investors participating in the financing round are Samsung Ventures, Foxconn, and MediaTek. (CN Beta, Reuters, Globes, Tech)

corephotonics-dual-camera

Memory

China’s Tsinghua Unigroup is looking to build IC manufacturing sites in Wuhan, Chengdu and Nanjing with total investment reaching USD70B, according to Zhao Weiguo, chairman for the state-backed technology conglomerate. Tsinghua Unigroup plans to break ground for another 2 plants – in Chengu (Sichuan province) and Nanjing (Jiangsu province) – in 2017. (Digitimes, press, TechNews, Sohu)

dramexchange-tsinghua-history

Hard-disk drive maker Seagate said it would cut more than 2,000 jobs as it shuts down its Suzhou factory in China. (CN Beta, Reuters, TechFrag, Metro)

Biometrics

Isao Echizen, a professor at the Digital Content and Media Sciences Research Division at the National Institute of Informatics has warned smartphone users of the perils of shooting selfie photos with their fingerprints exposed within the frame. (Android Headlines, Cult of Mac, Daily Mail, CNET, Sankei, Kejixun, iFeng)

Smartphones

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows Android sales declined in the US, GB, and FR, as iOS continued to make gains across most regions in the 3 months ending Nov. 2016. For Android, this marks the 6th consecutive period of decline in the US, at 55.3% of all smartphone sales, down from 60.4% in the same period a year earlier. (CN Beta, Kantar Worldpanel, press, CN Beta)

kantarworldpanel-smartphone-os-sales-share-nov.2016

Asymco’s Horace Dediu has predicted that total revenue made from Apple iOS could hit USD1T in 2017. In addition, he predicts that Apple will have sold at least 1.2B units of the iPhone by then. (CN Beta, Ubergizmo, 9to5Mac, Asymco, press, Phone Arena)

asymco-cumulative-ios-units-sold

According to research from Latin America retailer Linio, the US has the 39th cheapest average Apple iPhone cost, USD625.88, out of the 71 countries studied. The cheapest location to buy an iPhone on the list is Angola, with an average iPhone price of USD401.94, followed by Japan and China at USD413.58 and USD470.74 respectively. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Linio)

linio-cheapest-iphones-around-the-world

Google parent Alphabet is reportedly in talks to sell its satellite imaging unit, Terra Bella, to a startup Planet Labs in a deal that could impact the future of Google Maps and competition with Apple’s own Maps app. (Apple Insider, WSJ, TechWeb)

alphabet-sells-terra-bella

According to China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), Jan.~Dec. 2016 mobile phones shipped in China reached 560M units, 8% increased on year. In particular, domestic brand shipment has occupied 88.9% share, new models have occupied 95.5% share. (CAICT, report)

caict-china-mobile-phones-2016

Kyocera rugged clamshell smartphone Torque X01 is launched – 3.4” 854×480 display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 processor, 13MP camera, 1GB RAM, 8GB ROM, Android 5.1.1, 1500mAh battery. (CN Beta, Kyocera)

kyocera-torque-x01

Gionee Steel 2 is announced – 5” HD IPS display, MediaTek MT6737 processor, 8MP + 5MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 16 / 32GB storage, Android 6.0, LTE (VoLTE), dual-SIM, 4000mAh battery, from CNY1299. (GSM Arena, Times News)

gionee-steel-2

Tablets / PCs

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 72.6M units in 4Q16, a 3.7% decline from 3Q15, according to preliminary results by Gartner. For the year, 2016 PC shipments totaled 269.7M units, a 6.2% decline from 2015. PC shipments have declined annually since 2012. (CN Beta, Gartner, press)

gartner-2016-pc-shipment

Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (Desktop, Notebook, and Workstation) totaled 70.2M units in 4Q16, posting a YoY decline of 1.5%, according to IDC. The results continued the recent trend of stabilizing growth, which has been in decline since 2012. (IDC, press, Sina, East Money)

idc-4q16-pc

Wearables

Slice Intelligence estimates wireless headphones made up 75% of online revenue in the entire headphone market in Dec. 2016, up from approximately 50% for Dec. 2015. For the period after the launch Apple AirPods, Apple suddenly became the dominant wireless headphones brand, moving from having no share at all to occupying 26% of the market. (Apple Insider, Slice Intelligence, press, 163)

slice-apple-airpods-market-share

[CES 2017] According to Casio president Kazuhiro Kashiro, one smartwatch does not fit all. “We’re looking for wearable ideas that people will have a reason to use. We’re not looking to make the same smartwatches as everyone else,” he indicates. (Engadget)

casio-president

Internet of Things

X, a division of Google’s parent company Alphabet, is ending its solar-powered drone program, reassigning members of the Titan team to other projects, in the latest example of the company’s efforts to cut back its ambitious “moonshots.” (Engadget, 9to5Google, Business Insider, 163, TechWeb)

google-x-drone-project-moonshoot

Intuition Robotics announced ElliQ, which is designed to help older adults stay socially and physically active. ElliQ uses a combination of movements and voice interactions to communicate with end users. (Ubergizmo, Robotics Trends, Dezeen)

elliq-robot-companion

Worldwide spending on robotics and related services will more than double by 2020, growing from USD91.5B in 2016 to more than USD188B in 2020, according to IDC. More than half of all robotics spending comes from the manufacturing with discrete manufacturing delivering 31% and process manufacturing providing 28% of the worldwide total in 2016. (IDC, press, 52RD, Jiemian, OfWeek)

idc-robotics-usecases-2016

LeEco CEO YT Jia indicates that Faraday Future FF91 would cost below CNY2M, and the profit would not be high, and also would not sell at lost. In Mar. 2017, there will be 300 units special edition launched. With USD5,000 pre-order fees for normal edition, they will get their cars in 2018. (CN Beta, TechWeb, Recode)

faradayfuture-ff91

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