01-27 Happy CNY: SK Hynix to complete development of its 72-layer 3D NAND in 2017; Toshiba has announced that they will be spinning off their chip production business in Mar 2017; etc.

Chipsets

MediaTek has posted a total revenue of NTD68.68B, which represents a decline of 12.4% on quarter, an increase of 11.3% year on year. The company saw a decline sequentially and increase year on year for its operating profits, with the company posting NTD3.98B for the quarter, which represents a decline of 47.8% on quarter but a 6.2% decline on year. For the whole of 2016, MediaTek posted an overall operating profit decline of 6.7%, with a total of NTD23.08B. (Android Headlines, MediaTek, Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba, UDN)mediatek-4q16-financialchinatimes-mediatek-4q16-financial

Intel announced their quarterly earnings for the 4th quarter of their 2016 fiscal year. Intel set a new record for revenue for this quarter, coming in at USD16.4B. This is up 10% from a year ago. For the year, Intel brought in USD59.4B, up 7% from their 2015 results. (Laoyaoba, Forbes, AnandTech, Intel)

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Touch / Display

Corning has reported strong earnings for 4Q16, with net income reaching USD1.572B, rising 454% sequentially and 602% on year. Corning’s 4Q16 revenues totaled USD2.476B, down 1% on quarter but up 11% on year. For the full year 2016, revenues totaled USD9.39B, increasing 3% on year. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba, 10JQKA)

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Memory

SK Hynix saw its operating profits surge to KRW1.54T (USD1.33B) in 4Q16, while net profits also grew above KRW1T. SK Hynix has reported consolidated revenues for 4Q16 climbed to a record KRW5.4T, thanks to “favorable market conditions attributed to strong demand and product price hikes.” (Digitimes, press, RFI, Laoyaoba, ICNKR, SK Hynix)

SK Hynix to set up additional cleanroom facilities at its M14 fab in Icheon to meet robust NAND flash demand, and is looking to complete development of its 72-layer 3D NAND in 2017. (TechNews, SK Hynix, Digitimes, press)

Toshiba has announced that they will be spinning off their chip production business in Mar 2017 as part of a broader plan to sell off a minority stake in the business. It will reportedly be a roughly 20% stake, leaving Toshiba still in control of what is their most profitable business. (WSJ, The Globe and Mail, AnandTech, My Drivers, Sina)

Smartphones

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, recorded USD5.3B in net income for 4Q16 that ended on 31 Dec 2016. That is up compared to the USD4.9B 4Q15. Revenues for the quarter came in at USD26B, well above the USD21.3B in revenues from the same period a year ago. (Android Authority, Alphabet, Android Headlines, 163, Kejixun )

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Google is reportedly working on Pixel 2 featuring improved camera, CPU, higher price; and also working on a “budget” Pixel. (Android Authority, 9to5Google, iFeng)

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, stated that he is not worried about how the development of the voice search and assistant market is playing out. Noting that it is still “very early days” in the world of voice search. Further adding, that as far as Google is concerned, they are more interested in the long game. (Android Headlines, TechCrunch)

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American users are extremely reliant on smartphones according to a recent survey conducted by ReportLinker. Nearly 50% of all Americans check their phones even before they get out of bed, mostly to use email and social media apps. (Android Headlines, User Android, ReportLinker, press)

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BT, the telecommunications company working on the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) project, intends to use Apple iPhone 7 as the “device of choice” for secretive communications. (CN Beta, TechRepublic, Apple Insider)

Apple is slowly succeeding at carving out a slice of India’s growing smartphone pie, selling 2.5M iPhones in 2016, according to Counterpoint Research. (Laoyaoba, CNET, Counterpoint Research, press)

Samsung said that it “plans to enhance the competitiveness of its mid-to-low end models by introducing water and dust-proof features and fingerprint recognition” in 2017. (Laoyaoba, TechNews, Android Authority, Samsung)

HTC’s president of smartphones and connected devices, Chialin Chang says that HTC and Google are “working on multiple things,” mentioning that “there’s always a different product.” He also implies future HTC phones may have Google Assistant on board. (Phone Arena, Tbreak, 163)

LG upcoming flagship G6 reportedly will feature Google Assistant. Amazon Alexa is expected to arrive in other LG phones later 2017. (Android Headlines, Ubergizmo, CNET, Next Power Up, Engadget[cn])

Microsoft announced the following results for the quarter ended 31 Dec 2016, posting USD26.1B in revenue, while the company’s net-income stood at USD6.5B. Growth was led by its Office and cloud segments, which the company is betting on to fuel future growth. (GSM Arena, Microsoft, TechCruch, Xinhuanet, Sina)

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Entry level rugged phone AGM A2 is announced – 4” WVGA display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 processor, 8MP + 2MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 5.1, IP68, 2600mAh battery. (GizChina, AGM Mobile)

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Wearables

HTC is offering 1,000 Vive Tracker units to qualified developers for free, so long as those developers are willing to give them back. (Android Headlines, Digital Trends, HTC, 163)

Alvin Wang Graylin, Regional President of Vive at HTC China, said that upcoming generations of VR hardware can probably be compared to a combination of smartphones and gaming consoles. While phone line-ups are getting refreshed on an annual basis, consoles usually last 5~6 years. He believes VR products will neither be replaced as quickly as smartphones nor as slowly as consoles. (Android Headlines, Road to VR, Yahoo)

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HTC’s now-former design lead Claude Zellweger announced he is begun working on the Google Daydream platform. (Pocket-Lint, The Verge, Sina, Unwire.pro)

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Internet of Things

Google is still struggling to bring the expenses for its moonshot projects back to earth. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, lost nearly USD1.1B from its “other bets” division in 4Q16. That brings the total loss for this division to about USD3.6B in 2016, slightly more than 2015. The “other bets” includes ambitious projects like self-driving cars, life sciences research and high-speed Internet access. (Android Headlines, CNET, NBC2, Tencent)

A Singaporean investment company, Temasek, has invested USD800M into the Alphabet-owned Verily, a former division of Google previously known as Google Life Sciences. (Android Headlines, TechCrunch, Bloomberg)

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