03-21: Samsung says Bixby will stand out from competing AI-based assistants; Xiaomi has partnered Foxconn to set up its second manufacturing unit in India; Vodafone Group of the UK and Idea Cellular of the Aditya Birla group agreed to merge their operations in India; etc.

Chipsets

ARM has unveiled its next-generation multi-core micro-architecture designed to boost the performance and efficiency of multi-core Cortex-A processors, which form the basis of many mobile and server SoCs. Known as DynamIQ, the new technology will be heading to automotive, smart home, smartphone, and other connected device markets in the near feature. (Android Authority, ARM, The Inquirer, NDTV, First Post, Laoyaoba)

arm-dynamiq

Touch Display

BOE has developed a 5” AMQLED (active-matrix quantum light-emitting diode) display product. AMQLED uses inkjet printing process to prepare electrochromic quantum light emitting device (QLED) to achieve full color display, and more than 100% color gamut. (My Drivers, Laoyaoba, Xinhuanet, BOE)

Apple adopting OLED for its next-gen iPhone leading Samsung and China vendors actively invest, also encouraging Japanese OLED-related industry grow. In particular, equipment manufacturer Ulvac has grown tremendously. According to IHS Technolgy, OLED panel market size (used for smartphones, TV, etc.) will grow to USD30B by 2019, a near 2-fold of 2016. (Laoyaoba, 51Touch, ChinaFPD, Barron’s, blog)

bernstein-oled-capex

Camera

According to Sony’s official explanation, traditional 2-layer CMOS image sensor is formed by a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor technology and logic processing technology, and for IMX400 in between those 2 layers there is a DRAM processing technology. In short, with the DRAM in the middle, IMX400 can process the images faster. (My Drivers, article, iFanr)

sony-imx-400-2 sony-imx-400

International brands Apple, LG and Chinese brands Huawei, vivo, Gionee, Xiaomi, ZTE, LeEco have already launched their own smartphones with dual-camera. In 2017, there will be more brands such as Samsung, Meizu, Smartisan launching their own. So, In 2017 dual-camera smartphone market is highly competitive, and this would beneficial to Largan, Sunny Optical, Genius, O-Film, Truly and Altek. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes, 52RD)

Sharp owns 44% stake in Kantatsu, and it is aggressively investing to expand its production to compete with Largan. However, with the same 5P structure lens, Kantatsu monthly production in 2018 targets 30M~40M units, much lower than Largan’s 120M units. Kantatsu is reportedly investing JPY8B to expand production in China. (Laoyaoba, China Times)

Memory

According to Forward Insights, a total of 63M SSDs were shipped worldwide in the channel in 2016. Samsung leads the market with 21% market share, equivalent 13M units shipped; follows by Kingston with 16% market share. (CN Beta, Forward Insights, Tech Powerup, Enostech)

forwardinsights-ssd-2016

Battery

Samsung SDI’s compensation plans for Samsung Electronics’ discontinued Galaxy Note 7 have been reportedly put on hold as the 2 sister firms have yet to find a middle ground for settlement. Samsung SDI has suffered an operating loss of KRW926.3B (USD826.90M) in 2016 following the Note fallout, coupled with sluggish sales of automotive batteries especially in China.  (Phone Arena, The Investor)

Connectivity

Vodafone Group of the UK and Idea Cellular of the Aditya Birla group agreed to merge their operations in India in a USD23B deal, creating the country’s biggest telecom company with a customer base of 400M and overtaking Airtel which has a customer base of 266M.  (Android Headlines, Reuters, Yahoo, Indian Express, Reuters CN)

vodafone-idea-merger

China Unicom said net profit fell 94% to CNY630M in 2016, while revenue fell to CNY274.2B from CNY277B. due to a substantial increase in sales and marketing costs and amid a decline in additional operating and support expenses after disposing of network signal towers. (Laoyaoba, Sina, CN Beta, The Standard, Asia Nikkei, Market Watch)

China Unicom chairman Wang Xiaochu admits that the company has missed the business opportunity of 4G. He said China Unicom aims to add 60M 4G users in 2017. The capital expenditure in 2017 will drop 38% from last year to CNY45B as the company needs time to prepare for 5G spending and ensure it does not repeat the mistakes it made with 4G. (Laoyaoba, ChinaZ, ZOL, SCMP, NASDAQ)

unicom-chairman

LTE for IoT chipmaker Sequans Communications S.A. announced the renewal of its 5G research partnership agreement with TCL Communication. The agreement is an extension of an earlier agreement the 2 companies executed in Mar 2015 whereby TCL and Sequans agreed to jointly develop next generation 5G wireless technologies in order to accelerate their development. (LaoyaobaBusiness Wire, TechWeb)

Smartphones

Samsung’s head of R&D for Software and Services, InJong Rhee, said Bixby will stand out from competing AI-based assistants (or “agents”) through 3 main factors – completeness, context awareness, and cognitive tolerance. (Android Authority, Samsung, The Verge, CNMO, 163)

Tomislav Himbele, HMD Global’s Head of Marketing for Eastern Europe, has revealed that company’s new Nokia devices will launch in the region sometime in 2Q17. (GizChina, Nokiamob, Android Headlines

In Jan 207, 5 Chinese brands — Lenovo, Huawei, Meizu, Xiaomi and ZTE — accounted for 24% of the Russian market in sales and 19% in revenue, up from 19% and 13% respectively a year earlier, Russian electronic devices retailer m.video reported.  Chinese manufacturers are no longer perceived by Russian buyers as suppliers of cheap phones, said Sergei Tikhonov, spokesman of Russia’s leading handset retailer Svyaznoy. (Laoyaoba, ECNS, Global Times)

A new update to the “Worldwide Semiannual Mobility Spending Guide” from IDC forecasts worldwide mobility revenues to reach USD1.57T in 2017, an increase of 2.6% over 2016. Purchases of mobile hardware, software, and services is expected to continue apace over the next several years, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.1% over the 2015-2020 forecast period and reaching USD1.67T in 2020. (LaoyaobaIDC, press, EET Asia, Business Wire)

idc-top-industry-on-5-year

Analyst from Cowen and Company Timothy Arcuri forecasts shipments between 55M~60M for Apple’s new “iPhone 8” with OLED display. He believes Apple will ship another 20M~25M for a so-called “iPhone 7s Plus,” and an additional 35M~40M for a 4.7” “iPhone 7s”.  In all, he believes Apple could be in a position to ship some 110M units of its trio of new iPhones later 2017. (Apple Insider, Value WalkLaoyaoba)

cowen-and-company-iphone-7

Xiaomi has partnered Foxconn to set up its second manufacturing unit in India at Sri City in Andhra Pradesh. The two factories combined will provide employment to about 5,000 people. The move will help Xiaomi meet about 95% of its demand in India from these two facilities.  (Laoyaoba, GizChina, Indian Express, NDTV, India Times)

Flipkart Online Services Pvt has completed a USD1B fundraising and aims to raise as much as USD1B more over the next few months. (Laoyaoba, 36Kr, TechWeb, Indian Express, Financial Express)

Samsung will reportedly produce 12.5M Galaxy S8 units by the time it hits the market. Samsung is reportedly looking to manufacture 7.1M of 5.8” Galaxy S8 units and 5.4M of 6.2” Galaxy S8 Plus models. (Android Headlines, ET News)

LeEco is selling the San Jose headquarters it acquired from Yahoo in 2016: an 80,000-square-foot facility on 49 acres of land where it planned to house 12,000 employees.  (Apple Insider, Reuters, CN Beta)

leeco-san-jose-liquidated

ZTE nubia launches: M2 – 5.5” FHD AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 MSM8953 processor, rear dual-camera 13MP-13MP + front 16MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 3630mAh battery, from CNY2699. M2 Lite – 5.5” HD IPS LCD display, MediaTek Helio P10 processor, 3 / 4GB RAM, 32 / 64GB storage, 13MP + 16MP cameras, 3000mAh battery, from CNY1799. N2 – 5.5” FHD AMOLED display, MediaTek octa-core processor, 13MP + 16MP camera, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 5000mAh battery, CN1999.  (CN Beta, My Drivers, Gizmo China, Phone Radar)

nubia-m2
nubia-n2

Wearables

The overall wearables market is expected to return to strong growth after a brief slowdown in 2016 that resulted from delayed launches of major platforms and notable vendors struggling to maintain pace. Looking ahead, new vendors, emerging form factors, and an expanded number of retail outlets will drive worldwide wearable device shipments from 102.4M in 2016 to 237.5M in 2021, a 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.3%, according to IDC. (IDC, press, CN Beta)

idc-werable-forecast-2021

Apple is reportedly making AR technology a priority and has assembled a high-profile team for the effort including vets from Dolby, Oculus and more. (Apple Insider, Bloomberg, 163, ZOL)

Facebook internal group, known as Building 8, currently has 4 simultaneous projects underway, spanning everything from cameras and augmented reality (AR) to science fiction-like brain scanning technology. (TechNews, Business Insider)

facebook-building-8

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