04-08: Samsung forecasts an operating profit of USD8.8B (KRW9.9T) in 1Q17; TCL has announced its 1Q17 product sales data; etc.


After the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) sent out a letter to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) claiming that some dual-SIM 4G/LTE smartphones, especially those housing MediaTek processors, deteriorated the network quality, the company said it is doing its best to address the concerns and situation. (Android Headlines, GizBot, Telecom Talk, Economic Times, Digitimes, Money DJ, NDTV)

As the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) awaits a reply from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on a letter claiming that some 4G/LTE smartphones slow down network quality owing to sub-standard chipsets, leading Xiaomi has denied any such quality issue with its devices. (CE.cn, Financial Express, India Times, Trak.in)

MediaTek is facing a number of challenges in China. Currently OPPO, vivo, Meizu and Xiaomi have reportedly shifted their orders to Qualcomm, even though MediaTek has gained orders from Samsung, yet it is still not easy to increase shipment by 30% above in 2H17. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes)


TSMC will reportedly start volume production of A11 chips from Apr 2017, which will be supplied to Apple new-generation iPhones to be launched in Sept 2017. Currently its monthly production is 20K~30K units, and estimates to increase to 50K~60K by end of 2Q17. With TSMC’s 10nm yield rate is 70% above, thus estimating by end of Jul TSMC would have produced 50M units A11 inventory. (Laoyaoba, Sohu, EE World, China Tech News)

Touch Display

Apple reportedly has signed a 2-year contract with Samsung Display for the supply of KRW10T (USD9B) worth of small-size curved OLED panels. Based on the contract, Samsung Display will ship 70M~92M small-size OLED panels to Apple in 2017. (Digitimes, press, Android Headlines, 9to5Mac, Sina)

LCD panel shipments for digital signage will reach 4.4M units globally in 2017, increasing 8.6% on year, and the shipments will keep growing to 5.8M units in 2020, according to Digitimes Research. While SMD (surface mount device) RGB LED technology has improved resolution of LED display panels used in digital signage, LCD panels are still superior in resolution. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba)

Samsung  is joining forces with Chinese TV makers to spread its quantum dot-based light emitting diode (QLED) brand against the growing OLED alliance led by its archrival LG.  (The Investor, Pulse News)

Targeting the OLED market, Wisechip is aggressively expanding its product. Wisechip has showcased a number of OLED products including transparent and flexible display, and also 5.5” wide-angle product. (Laoyaoba, OLEDW, China Times)


Samsung Display and LG Display, in view of large potential growth in demand, will continue their expansion of small- to medium-size AMOLED panel production, with combined annual capacity expected to reach 16.069M square meters in 2020, 3.17 times the 5.067M square meters in 2016, according to Digitimes Research. (Digitimes, press)


Powerchip Technology‘s joint venture fab in Hefei, China will be ready for trial production in Jun 2017, according to CEO Frank Huang. He also indicates that DRAM will be facing shortage in 2018 if there is no additional fabs. (Laoyaoba, OfWeek, ESM China, Digitimes, press)

Toshiba has reportedly narrowed the number of bidders for its semiconductor business from about 10 interested parties to a smaller group that includes Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry and Korea’s SK Hynix. The other remaining contenders include private equity firm Silver Lake Management and chipmaker Broadcom, which are collaborating on the deal. (CN Beta, Standard Examiner)


Sharp intends to double the number of workers at a key LCD panel plant mainly for the production of smartphone camera parts. The plant, located in Kameyama, in western Japan’s Mie Prefecture, will supply the parts to Apple and other companies.  (Asia Nikkei, Japan Times, TechNews)

Sony has published its image sensor roadmap up to 2018. Sony’s plans include the launch of 100MP 44×33mm and 150MP 55×41mm medium-format sensors in 2018. (CN Beta, DP Review, Peta Pixel, Sony, roadmap)



Apple has not done much with the Smart Connector since it debuted on the iPad Pro in 2015, and now the data and charging port is rumored to be headed to the iPhone. It would be utilized for charging the device, plus potential AR and VR applications. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, The Verifier)



According to Newzoo, as Chinese consumers become increasingly affluent, the purchasing price for the devices they use also increases. 2016 saw a decease in devices priced less than CNY1999 (around USD290), and an increase in more premium devices, including the highest category of devices (above USD580). (Laoyaoba, Tencent, Sina, Newzoo, report)

newzoo-mobile-brands-monthly-active-device-china-feb2017 newzoo-price-segment-china-dec-2016

OPPO officially announced joining GSMA as one of the members. As a member, OPPO not only has a beautiful ID design, it has shown technologies advancement in fast charging, camera and 5G. (Laoyaoba, CC Time)


TCL has announced its 1Q17 product sales data. Overall product has gained a good growth, except for mobile phone business, which has suffered a huge drop. In 1Q17, sales of mobile devices (including smartphones, feature phones and others) is 10.54M units, a 39% drop on year. (163, Laoyaoba, JRJ, Reuters, TCL)


According Samsung’s 1Q17 earnings guidance, Samsung forecasts an operating profit of USD8.8B (KRW9.9T) over revenues of USD44B (KRW50T), falling short of the USD9.56B it recorded in 3Q13. (Samsung, Android Central, Laoyaoba)


Samsung Electronics has recently stopped producing and selling digital cameras, hinting at the its departure from the waning market. However, they will create a new camera product category to continue the business. (Laoyaoba, ET News, The Investor)

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro is announced in India – 5.7” FHD Super AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 16MP + 16MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, Android 6.0,  3300mAh battery, INR27990. (GSM Arena, Android Headlines, Android Central, Amazon)


Tablets / PCs

Microsoft has ranked highest in overall satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2017 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Survey, edging out Apple and other manufacturers to finish in the top spot for the first time ever. Microsoft has  tallied an overall satisfaction score of 855 out of a possible 1,000 points. (Apple Insider, CN Beta, Digital Trends, Tech Spot, JD Power, press)



Polar M430 is launched, equipped with 6 LED lights for optical heart rate sensing, built-in GPS, and a thinner, lighter build. It has a monochrome display and the same unibody design. It is priced at USD229. (The Verge, Tencent)


ZTE announced the nubia NeoAir VR camera. It boasts two fisheye lenses, each with a 210-degree field of view. It creates 360º photos (at 3,008×1,504 resolution) and videos (shot in 2,560×1,280). Both of its sensors have f/2.4 aperture. It is priced at CNY699. (GSM Arena, Indian Express, GizChina, Sohu, IT Home)


Internet of Things

Ikea has brought its Tradfri smart home system to the U.S., with a starter gateway kit with 2 bulbs, a network gateway, and a dimmer for USD80. (Ikea, Apple Insider, Tencent, TechWeb)


Insurance giant AAA this month released a survey that found 3/4 of drivers are afraid to ride in an autonomous car. AAA adds that only 10%  of its survey respondents report that they would actually feel safer sharing the roads with driverless vehicles, while 54% feel less safe. (CN Beta, Detroit News, Auto Connected Car, AAA, fact sheet)


IDC forecasts worldwide revenues for cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) systems will reach USD12.5B in 2017, an increase of 59.3% over 2016. Global spending on cognitive and AI solutions will continue to see significant corporate investment over the next several years, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54.4% through 2020 when revenues will be more than USD46B. (IDC, press, CNW)


Volkswagen is doubling down on China and AI in one fell swoop after the automaker announced a USD180M investment in Chinese startup Mobvoi to bring smart technology into its cars. (TechCrunch, Financial Post, Sina)


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