02-09: Samsung reportedly is expected to begin small production of its first foldable model featuring a flexible AMOLED display in 4Q17; Google officially made Android Wear 2.0 available to device makers and the public; etc.

Chipsets

Samsung and TSMC have provided updates to their 7nm chip technologies at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) held in San Francisco, California. For the ISSCC, both Samsung and TSMC demonstrated their development using a 7nm SRAM chip. (Android Headlines, Custom PC Review, EE Times, article)

tsmc-samsung-7nm-sram

Touch Display

Samsung reportedly is developing clam-type smartphones and is expected to begin small production of its first foldable model featuring a flexible AMOLED display in 4Q17, according to sources from Taiwan’s handset supply chain. However, Samsung’s mass production of clam-type smartphones may not kick off until 2H18 if it cannot overcome a number of technical issues involving the production and reliability of the PI (polyimide)-based plastic cover. (CN Beta, Digitimes, press)

Battery

Just weeks after Samsung stated that it was defective batteries that caused its Galaxy Note 7 to burst into flames and that the company had implemented several controls to prevent it from happening again, a fire broke out at the Samsung SDI battery factory in Tianjin, China. (Digitimes, press, Engadget, Reuters, CS.com, 163, Sina)

samsung-sdi-fab-fire

Samsung will likely adopt 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh batteries, respectively, for the 2 variants of the upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone, 5.7” and 6.2”, respectively. (CN Beta, Android Authority, The Investor)

samsung-galaxy-s8-battery

Smartphones

Canalys tracking globally 63 countries smartphone market data. The data shows that in 4Q16 China smartphone shipment exceeds 130M units, which is 32.4% of the global shipment, 2.4 times of US market, 4.7 times of India market. Overall 2016 China shipment reaches 470M units, a 11% growth on year, which is better than 2015’s yearly growth of 1.9%. (Canalys, press, CN Beta)

canalys-2016-smartphone

There were 124.2M smartphones shipped in the China market in 4Q16, increasing 8.0% on quarter and 5.3% on year and accounting for 29.6% of the global total, according to Digitimes Research. China-based vendors together accounted for 82% of the shipments and international ones for 18%. (Laoyaoba, Hexun, Digitimes, press)

digitimes-4q16-china-smartphones

Global smartphone sales reached 1.41B in 2016, according to GfK. This performance marked a 6.6% increase in comparison to 2015 when smartphone vendors recorded approximately 1.32B sales. The value of sales increased in a similar manner, as all 2016 smartphone sales were valued at USD428.9B, up by 7.7% in comparison to the year before. (Android Headlines, GfK, press)

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Apple will cross the 1B active iPhones threshold in the fiscal year 2019 (Oct 2018 – Sept 2019), according to UBS estimates. (CN Beta, Business Insider, Cult for Mac)

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Apple reportedly plans to release 3 models: iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus and an iPhone 8. The iPhone 8 will sit at the top of the range and will be the only one to feature an OLED screen and more premium features, and a premium price tag to match, to the tune of USD1000. (Pocket-Lint, Fast Company, ZOL, 163, TechWeb)

Apple v. Samsung is headed back to where it all began: district court in San Jose, California. A federal appeals court ordered that the long-running patent dispute be sent back to a lower court. That lower court, where the trials originally took place, will decide whether to hold another damages retrial or what other recourse to take. (Android Authority, CNET, CAFC, CNFOL, Sina)

Nokia refiled trademark application for the “N series”, perhaps an indication that the HMD Global controlled company is trying to re-introduce the highly successful multimedia smartphone series with likely a different outlook. (GizChina, Gizmo China, TechWeb, ChinaZ, PC Online)

nokia-n-series-rumor

It seems like HMD Global is having a hard time keeping up with the Nokia 6 demand. The Nokia 6 had been available through JD.com (JingDong Mall) several times now, but HMD Global says those were not flash sales, the devices went out of stock really soon after they were made available even though they were available for open purchase. (CN Beta, Android Headlines)

Tablets

Inventory of Apple’s entry-level 9.7” iPad continues to dry up as a trio of new models are rumored to soon launch, potentially suggesting the popular iPad Air 2 will be axed for a new model with faster processor. (CN Beta, Apple Insider)

Wearables

Google officially made Android Wear 2.0 available to device makers and the public. The wearable platform has been in preview status since May 2016 and its release has been delayed for several months. (User Android, Phone Scoop, Google, iFeng, 163)

google-android-wear-2.0

LG Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch Watch Sport and Watch Style are announced. Both feature circular P-OLED displays, 4GB of storage, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivities, 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100, wireless charging and dust and water resistance. (CN Beta, The Verge)

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Internet of Things

According to VP of ZTE Communications and GM of ZTE New Energy Automotive Feng Haizhou, currently ZTE has already laid out its plan to develop automotive battery, wireless charging, car networking, auto electronics, new energy, and expects to launch automotive electronic products in 2019. (CN Beta, Sina, 21Jingji, article, Gasgoo)

zte-comm-new-energy-automotive

Co-founder and CEO of Tesla Elon Musk has hinted that his company may break ground in India in 2017 summer. According to the Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers (SIAM), India’s automotive sector is worth USD74B today and is expected to achieve a turnover of USD300B by 2026. (CNN, India Times, CN Beta, Reuters, Economic Times)

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