01-24: Qualcomm is expected to continue supplying modems and other components to Apple despite facing a USD1B lawsuit over patent royalties and a related U.S. Federal Trade Commission action involving Apple; Qualcomm say the company is considering filing its own lawsuits in response; etc.

Chipsets

Assuming Apple is paying a standard royalty rate on the iPhone modem, Qualcomm’s earnings per share for 2017 could fall 32.5%, J.P. Morgan’s Rod Hall indicates. Apple would benefit in the short term, potentially improving its gross margins by 2%. (CN Beta, Apple Insider)

Qualcomm is expected to continue supplying modems and other components to Apple despite facing a USD1B lawsuit over patent royalties and a related U.S. Federal Trade Commission action involving Apple. (Apple Insider, Recode)

Qualcomm say the company is considering filing its own lawsuits in response, whether in the U.S. or elsewhere, as well as trying to get Apple’s case dismissed. (Ubergizmo, Recode, iFeng)

Even though TSMC’s 1Q17 performance does not meet expectation, but for Taiwan-based IC designers, this is a golden opportunity to grab enhance collaboration with TSMC to avoid tight supply in 2H17 caused by big vendors such as Apple or MediaTek. IC designers indicate that even though TSMC’s cost is higher per piece, but considering stable yield rate and other factors, it is actually value for money. (Laoyaoba, CECB2B, Digitimes)

Camera

Apple has reached a settlement with a San Antonio, Tex.-based firm called e-Watch, which claimed that the company was violating 2 U.S. patents related to cellphone cameras. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Law360)

Memory

South Korea’s semiconductor industries that are led by Samsung and SK Hynix are going to challenge themselves to make KRW30T (USD25.6B) in operating profits for the first time. (Laoyaoba, ET News, Elecfans)

etnews-samsung-skhynix-revenues

Biometrics

Australia has started implementing biometric facial, iris and fingerprint recognition in airports, allowing passengers to go through without showing a passport. The “Seamless Traveler” project is aimed at creating a “fast, seamless self-processing experience for up to 90 percent of travelers.” (SMH, Engadget, iFeng)

australia-airport-facial

Connectivity

Nokia and SK Telecom have successfully demonstrated a new emergency VoLTE system which they refer to as the “Mission Critical Push to Talk” (MCPTT) solution. The MCPTT system is built using a Voice-over-LTE infrastructure and was demonstrated at Nokia’s Research Center in Krakow, Poland. (Android Headlines, Wireless Mag, 4-Traders)

nokia-sktelecom-mcptt

Sprint has announced that it has forged a deal for 33% ownership of music streaming service Tidal, and as part of the deal, Sprint customers will receive “exclusive artist content” not available anywhere else. (Apple Insider, GSM Arena, 9to5Mac, Sprint, 163)

According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), as of Dec. 2016, China had 731M internet users. That figure represents 53.2% of China’s population. 95% of internet users are on mobile; that is 695M in total. That means that, for the first time, half of China’s 1.4B population use the internet on a mobile device. (TechCrunch, Guancha, Youth.cn, CNNIC report)

cnnic-china-internet-users-2016 cnnic-china-mobile-internet-users-2016

Smartphones

 

OnePlus has admitted that, due to some supply difficulties, the company was slow at shipping out devices for much of 2016. OnePlus aims to ship phones much faster in 2017. (Android Authority, OnePlus)

Huawei has announced a partnership with London’s Saatchi Gallery on a new exhibit meant to highlight the history, attributes, and meaning of the selfie. (Android Headlines, Android Central, Saatchi Gallery)

saatchi-huawei-selfie

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun indicates that the “Xiaomi Ecosystem” since launched in 2016 has brought the company CNY15B revenues. At the 2017 annual dinner, Lei Jun also indicates the company aims at more than CNY100B revenues in 2017. However, after 6 years since the company founded, 2016 would be the first time the company does not reveal its financial report. Referring its revenues in 2015 CNY78B, 80% still comes from the smartphone products. (TechNews, Sohu)

technews-xiaomi-phone-models

There is rumor saying Apple’s 2017 iPhone might adopt 3D curved glass, but the mockup seen by some seems to continue using 2.5D glass design, expecting 3D glass mass production might be delayed for another year. Currently 3D glass yield rate is about 50%~60% or even lower, and thus there are still a number of challenges and obstacles. 3D glass cover cost might be triple of 2.5D glass cover. (Laoyaoba, 52RD, EE World)

chinatimes-apple-iphone-8-3d-glass

Sales growth of mobile phone, including of feature phones, hit due to demonetisation, is back to normal in Jan. 2017 over 2016, according to Manu Sharma,VP mobile business of Samsung India. He said retailers have quickly adopted digital payment, and companies like his have provided easy finance option and offers that have helped the industry to quickly overcome the sales slowdown, which happened immediately after government’s demonetisation move in Nov. 2016. (Laoyaoba, Economic Times, Hindu Business Line)

economictimes-india-demonetisation-samsung

Samsung posted KRW53.33T in consolidated revenue and KRW9.22T (USD7.93B) in operating profit for 4Q16. Overall, the company reported full-year 2016 revenue of KRW201.87T and full-year 2016 operating profit of KRW29.24T. 4Q16 earnings were driven by the components businesses, mainly the Memory business and the Display Panel segment, which manufactures OLED and LCD screens. (CN Beta, Android Headlines, Android Central, Samsung)

samsung-4q16-2016-revenues

Tablet / PC

Dell is expected to change its company structure in February and turn its Greater China operations into an office independent of its Asia Pacific branch. The Greater China office will report directly to the US headquarters. Dell Taiwan general manager Terence Liao pointed out that Dell has high expectation of the Great China region and believes that the headquarters will invest more resources in the market. (CN Beta, Digitimes, press)

Although Apple Mac sales were up in 4Q16 compared to 4Q15, an analyst note from Bloomberg’s Anand Srinivasan and Wei Mok has revealed Apple has dropped to the 5th largest PC vendor, with ASUS overtaking 4th place. Those 4 companies (Lenovo, HP, Dell and ASUS) represent 65.2% of the overall market and each grew YoY, while Apple ceded ground, declining 30bps to 7.1%. The other 27.7% of the market is comprised of more than 200 vendors. In a market expected to consolidate, Samsung and Fujitsu are reported to be in discussions to sell their PC businesses to Lenovo. (CN Beta, 9to5Mac)

idc-4q16-pc idc-2016-pc

Wearables

VR First announced the results of a survey conducted of 151 participating universities from 38 countries, showing that the number of HMDs per university have jumped 5-fold in the past 6 months, from 1.5 per university to 5.6. They also found that while 51 students had to share a single headset early 2016, the average has dropped to 18 students per device. (TechCrunch, VR First report)

vr-first-students-per-vr-headset

Internet of Things

The visual effects company The Mill Group has claimed in a lawsuit that Faraday Future owes it USD1.8M for a graphic presentation that was designed to promote the automaker’s first production vehicle. (TechCrunch, Jalopink)

Earlier Jan 2017, Swift creator Chris Lattner announced stepping down as director of Apple’s Development Tools department to lead Tesla’s Autopilot engineering team as VP of Autopilot Software. He indicates that he wants to accelerate the path to cars being appliances that solve people’s problems. (CN Beta, Recode, Mac Rumors, TNW)

tesla-chris-lattner

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