03-11: Sorry for 2-day absence. These few days: Nanya indicates DRAM is in tight-supply throughout 2017; China OEMs to turn more conservative about placing orders with upstream component suppliers; etc.

Chipsets

Despite experiencing unsatisfactory yield rates for TSMC’s 10nm process, MediaTek will continue to partner with the foundry to make its next-generation flagship mobile chips, according to Digitimes. TSMC will enter risk production for a MediaTek chip on the newer 7nm process in 2Q17, adding that the SoC incorporates 12 CPU cores. (Android Headlines, Gizmo China, Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba)

Huawei in collaboration with ArcherMind Technology is launching new member of 96Boards, HiKey960, which is based on Kirin 960 SoC, with 85×55mm, using 8-core processor, ARM Mali G71 MP8 GPU built-in, 3GB LPDDR4 and 32GH UFS storage, supporting standard microSD. (My Drivers, Sohu)

huawei-hisilicon-hikey960

Tsinghua Unigroup’s mobile-design subsidiary Spreadtrum RDA is teaming up with Britain’s Dialog Semiconductor Plc to develop power management technologies for communications chips. (Laoyaoba, China Daily, Electronics Weekly, Bloomberg)

Touch Display

IHS Technology analyst indicates that LCD panels will become oversupply at the earliest beginning from 2H17, and in 2019-2020 the oversupply gap will increase more than 10%, due to various new huge fabs being built. In particular, Hon Hai’s Guangzhou panel fab with about CNY61B investment, BOE and CSOT both are building their own new 10.5G LCD panel fabs. (Laoyaoba, 51Touch, FPDisplay, EE World, HC360)

ihs-2018-panels-oversupply

Japan-based Sumitomo Chemical will invest JPY15B (USD132M) to set up a factory for curved-surface AMOLED touch panels based on thin-film substrates in South Korea. With annual capacity of 400M glass substrate-based AMOLED touch panels, Sumitomo Chemical is currently the largest supplier with a global market share of 60-70%. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes, press)

AMOLED growing penetration will drive the 3D cover glass market. In 2016, there were more than 10 phone models equipped with 3D cover glass, and this will further grow in 2017. Other than Samsung, Huawei, vivo, OPPO, Xiaomi and Gionee, there will be more brands adopting 3D cover glass. (OfWeek, Glass.cn, China FPD, Laoyaoba)

According to analysts, even when 8 new AMOLED fabs are finished in Mainland China – BOE has started sampling, others include CSOT, Tianma, Everdisplay, GVO, and Royale—and even when all these operations have started, their combined production still cannot beat Samsung Display, which has more than 100M units per year. That is because Samsung Display AMOLED has been in production for a while, and thus in next 3~5 years, global mid-to-small sized OLED panels will still be led by Samsung Display. (Laoyaoba, EE World, OfWeek)

Maze is a new smartphone brand created by created by YOP Communication who owns an R&D team and 3 factories. Maze will bring a full vision, edge-to-edge display smartphone to the market: Maze Alpha. It will feature a 6″AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. (Gizmo China, Digital Trends, Maze Mobile, iGao7, GizChina)

maze-alpha

Japan Display Inc (JDI) announced Full Active Flex technology in early 2017. By using plastic, the display has become flexible, which means it can be bent or folded. It will be first used on 5.5” FHD LCD panel smartphone. JDI plans to mass produce Full Active Flex flexible LCD panel in 2018. (Laoyaoba, Japan Times, OfWeek, Red House)

jdi-full-active-flex

Professor Bae Byeong-soo of KAIST’s New Material Engineering Department has developed flexible hard-coating material that can make foldable smartphone’s cover film easily bent and have its surface not scratched easily. They have confirmed that siloxane hybrid material has high solidity like glass, flexibility like plastic, and elasticity like rubber through nano-coining test and nano-bending test. (TechNews, Patently Apple, ET News)

kaist-new-material-bendable

Memory

Foxconn is reportedly not a favored bidder for Toshiba’s memory chip business due to its close ties with China. The Japanese government is worried that selling to bidders close to China may lead to the transference of key technology. (Laoyaoba, Channel News Asia, News Came, Yahoo)

Domestic appliance manufacturer Midea Group is reportedly interested in investing in Toshiba’s semiconductor unit is “inaccurate”, according to a statement Midea. (TechNews, 163, SCMP, Global Times)

Taiwan’s Nanya GM Peiying Li indicates DRAM is in tight-supply throughout 2017, and the ASP is increasing in 1H17, and expecting 1Q17 ASP is increasing 10%~15% quarterly. Nanya indicates that in terms of DRAM supply in 2017, the top 3 vendors did not increase their production much. 2017 expects to see demand growth roughly 20%, mainly from smartphones and servers. Thus, in 2017 the DRAM market will be in tight-supply, with inventory of all DRAM types will be low. (Laoyaoba, Elecfans, EE World, EE Times)

Sensory

An international research team led by Osaka University together with Tokyo Metropolitan University, imec in Belgium and Crimson Technology has released a new machine-learning device that detects the emotional state of its listeners to produce new songs that elicit new feelings. (Daily Mail, Knowridge, CN Beta)

osaka-machine-learning-device-to-detect-emotion

Connectivity

In an all-data-you-can-eat world, consumers’ use of Wi-Fi at public places like stadiums and airports will drop to 1/3 of all mobile data traffic from about 1/2, Tim Farrar, founder of Telecom Media Finance Associates, estimates. This means businesses not upgrading public access Wi-Fi as often. Smartphone users might not even turn on their Wi-Fi capability, according to Barry Gilbert, an analyst at researcher Strategy Analytics. (CN Beta, Channel News, Bloomberg, press)

bloomberg-wifi-replacement

Recent US Census Bureau numbers show that 55% of the younger generation are relying on their wireless connection while 69% of the older generation tends to connect via broadband. 60% of the Millennials surveyed were between the ages of 18-24 while 77% of the older generation were ages 55-64.  (Android Headlines, Smart Brief, Campus Technology, Bloomberg, The Journal, Washington Post)

usconsensus-us-millennials-wireless

Smartphones

According to CMR India, the Indian market recorded a 22% rise in revenues at INR1,359,975M in 2016 as against INR1,117,571M in 2015. Samsung garnered 33% market share during the year with its revenues standing at INR453,713M, followed by Apple (8%) and Lenovo (7%) with INR112,975M and INR99,806M revenues, respectively. (CMR India, press, Economic Times, Laoyaoba)

cmr-india-2016-top-players cmr-india-2016-top-players-by-volume

Samsung Electronics emerged as the world’s 16th-largest company in terms of market capitalization. According to the data compiled by Korea Exchange, Samsung’s combined market cap was estimated at USD241B, up 23 notches from a year earlier. (Yonhap News, Business Korea, Android Headlines)

Following India’s demonetization strategy, Samsung is planning to cash in on the move by introducing Samsung Pay to mid-range devices including the popular Galaxy J series. (Android Authority, Mashable, Android Headlines, Yesky)

The Turkish Competition Authority said it will examine whether Google’s application bundling requirements for Android handset makers are consistent with the country’s fair competition rules. (Laoyaoba, eWeek, NY Times, BGR)

Apple has brought back the iPhone 6 – first released in Sept 2014 and then discontinued Sept 2016 — in India, China, and Taiwan. Pricing seems to position the new iPhone 6 handsets as a bit cheaper than the iPhone SE. (Apple Insider, The Street, ZDNet, Laoyaoba, C114)

amazon-iphone-6-32gb

In 2016 Gionee phones shipment has exceeded 40M units worldwide. The chairman of Gionee Mobiles, Liu Lirong indicates that for 2017 target, in China alone they aim for at least 30M units, and challenging 38M units. (EE World, China FPD, Tencent)

gionee-liu-li-rong

Microsoft may be working on a new Windows Phone device for 2017. While not the much-awaited Surface Phone, this device is expected to be a regular Windows 10 Mobile-based smartphone. (CN Beta, Windows Latest, First Post)

Xiaomi’s current portfolio in India reveals that about 90% of its sales are from online channels, while less than 10% is offline. This is set for a change in 2017 as the company is now focusing on strengthening offline sales to penetrate deep into the hinterland. As of today, Xiaomi ships its products to around 14,000 pin codes — close to 40% of the country’s total — every single week.  (CN Beta, Telecom Lead, India)

Competition in China’s smartphone market is getting keener, forcing some players including Huawei, Xiaomi, vivo and LeEco to turn more conservative about placing orders with upstream component suppliers, according to Digitimes from sources from Taiwan’s handset supply chain. Due to high inventory levels at the channels, which were left over from 4Q16, some vendors have even delayed their launch of new models from 1Q/2Q17. Shipments of smartphones in the China market are expected to fall below 100M units in 1Q17. (Digitimes, press, UDN, Moqie)

nomura-china-smartphones-2017-2018

Google has confirmed the acquisition of Kaggle, a community platform full of data scientists and machine learning enthusiasts. (Android Headlines, TechCrunch, ZDNet, Google, Tencent)

google-kaggle

LeEco has outlined further plans to get its Le Pro3 and Le S3 smartphones into more brick-and-mortar and online storefronts throughout 2017 in the US. (Phone Arena, LeEco, Phone Scoop, 163)

leeco-us-smartphones

LeEco Le Pro3 Elite is launched – 5.5” FHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 16MP + 8MP cameras,  4GB RAM, 32GB storage, 4070mAh battery, CNY1699. (Ubergizmo, GizChina, Phone Radar, GSM Arena)

leeco-lepro-3-elite

BlackBerry Aurora is announced – 5.5” HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, 13MP + 8MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 7.0, LTE, dual-SIM, 3000mAh battery. (Phone Arena, Crack-Berry, PC Mag, ZOL)

blackberry-aurora

Tablets

According to IDC, in 4Q16 global tablet assembly increased production thanks to the back-to-steady supply of main components, and increased demands. Tablets shipment has increased 17.9% on quarter, and 2016 full year global tablet assembly shipment has decreased 15.3% on year reaching 178M units because the smartphone display size is increasing. Top 4 ODM vendors, other than Samsung’s own brand, Foxconn, Compal and Pegatron have the majority shipment. (Laoyaoba, EET Taiwan, IDC, press)

idc-odm-tablets-4q16

Wearables

Shazam has announced the launch of a massively scaled augmented reality platform which will help serve brand partners, artists and hundreds of millions of global users. (Android Headlines, Digital Trends, VR and Fun, 99VR, Citinews)

shazam-ar-app

Xiaomi-owned Mijia brand unveiled 90 Minutes Ultra Smart Sportswear. It comes with an Intel Curie chip inside that can store all the vital fitness data while exercise, run, or even walk. It is developed by the Chinese based company Shanghai Runmi Technology and is aimed primarily at professional athletes. (GSM Arena, GizChina, Mi.com, 163)

xiaomi-90-ultra-smart-shoes

Internet of Things

Germany-based homebuilder WeberHaus has announced that it will soon offer its pre-fabricated homes equipped with Apple’s HomeKit platform, a first for the European market. (CN Beta, 9to5Mac, Apple Insider)

weberhaus-apple-homekit

Baidu has announced collaboration with Haier, Midea and a number of home appliances vendors. Baidu will use its DuerOS platform to make home appliances such as Haier’s fridge or Midea’s fridge “smart”. DuerOS is helping users to gain information via AI and natural language interaction.  (CN Beta, Sina, China News)

baidu-haier-midea-dueros

Didi Chuxing has officially opened its U.S.-based research lab to develop AI and self-driving car technology. (TechCrunch, Apple Insider, Recode, Jiemian, CS.com)

Economy

Global market research firm New World Wealth has estimated that the US’s total wealth – the private wealth held by all individuals in the country, including assets – is USD51.3T. China follows by USD19.1T. (My Drivers, Telegraph)

newworldwealth-growing-wealthy-countries

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