04-10: Qualcomm is targeting for 5G NR smartphones by the middle of 2019; Google is reportedly offering to invest up to KRW1T to help LG Display in boosting its production of OLED panels; etc.

Chipsets

“We are targeting for 5G NR smartphones by the middle of 2019,” Sherif Hanna, senior manager for the technical marketing of Snapdragon modems at Qualcomm. Qualcomm says that 5G “dual connectivity” with 4G LTE is part of the 5G specification. (Laoyaoba, 163, Seeking Alpha, Strategy Analytics, The Street, Light Reading)

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Spreadtrum Communications said its LTE SoC (system on chip) platform— SC9820 has been deployed by Lava for first 4G-enabled feature phone, Lava Connect M1. 28nm SC9820 integrates 1.2GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, ARM Mali-400 MP1 GPU for 3D graphics acceleration and supports TDD-LTE, FDD-LTE, GSM modes and GPRS connectivity. (CN Beta, EE Trend, Yahoo, Economic Times)

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TrendForce’s research finds that the most advanced node currently available for China’s foundry industry is the 28nm. SMIC’s wafer capacity for 28nm devices represented less than 1% of the global total for 2016. The world’s largest foundry TSMC accounted for 66.7% of the global 28nm capacity for the same year, while the second-largest GlobalFoundries had 16.1% and the third-place UMC had 8.4%.  (Laoyaoba, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)

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Touch Display

Apple’s huge OLED order from Samsung would cause 3-year OLED shortage for Chinese vendors. Chinese panel vendors such as BOE would have to wait till 2020 for mass production of their OLED products. Before that OLED demand is actually controlled by Samsung, LG and Apple. In fact, Apple has quietly included LGD, Foxconn / Sharp, BOE and JDI as their 2018 suppliers to reduce reliance to Samsung. (My Drivers, CN Beta)

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Google is reportedly offering to invest up to USD880M (KRW1T) to help LG Display in boosting its production of OLED panels for smartphones. The company is making the offer in a bid to secure supplies of flexible OLED panels for future Pixel smartphones. (Reuters, Yahoo, My Drivers, Huanqiu)

Memory

SK hynix has developed a 72-layer 256Gb 3D NAND Flash, the industry’s highest, and plans to start mass production of the chips in 2H17. Productivity of the latest 72-layer NAND Flash is 30% higher than the previous 48-layer chips, according to SK hynix. (CN Beta, My Drivers, The Investor, Yahoo)

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Smartphones

Consumer finance and consumer scenes have been “working together”, which spawns a new financial scene, especially in 2nd / 3rd / 4th tier cities. With the ideology of use first pay later and consumer credit becoming mainstream, mobile phone and other consumer electronics have become a battlefield for consumer finance business. And, mobile phone retail shops have become the best consumer scene. (Laoyaoba, Sina, EEO article)

eeo-consumer-finance-mobile-phone-industry

Focusing on African market and not selling the mobile phone products in China has always been Transsion’s strategy. In addition to high value-for-money and fulfilling African’s consumption power, Transsion has successfully caught the pain-points of African consumers—by using eyes and teeth to position, and enhance the exposure, the phone helps the African consumers taking satisfying selfie. After successfully conquer African market, Transsion now is shifting their focus to India. (Laoyaoba, Sina)

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At beginning of 2017, Samsung has launched a new USD150M fund to spend on emerging-tech startups, Samsung NEXT. This new investment vehicle is the result of experimentation to see if it has what it takes to move fast to “invest and grow.” Samsung NEXT principal Christina Bechhold spoke about the company’s vision, its desire to move deeper into venture capital, and how it plans on making investments in early-stage companies. (VentureBeat, CN Beta)

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Micromax has entered into a collaborative partnership with online retailer Flipkart to increase its market share in the mid-price category of smartphones sold online. The partnership is not merely a retail collaboration but deep integration of Flipkart insights and analytics will help shape Micromax’s product strategy going forward. (Android Authority, BGR, GizChina)

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Indian ecommerce juggernaut Flipkart has raised USD1.4B from eBay, Microsoft, and Tencent, in what is the biggest single investment in Flipkart’s history. The investment values Flipkart at a whopping USD11.6B, according to the company. (CN Beta, VentureBeat, Flipkart, TechWeb)

Users of PCs, ultramobiles and mobile phones are buying new devices at higher average selling prices (ASPs), resulting in growth in end-user spending in 2017. Gartner estimates that end-user spending will increase by 2% in 2017, to nearly USD600B in current U.S. dollars. Spending on mobile phones will represent 67% of that figure. (Gartner, press, TechNews)

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Pre-orders for Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus hit 550,000 in 2 days, the company‘s highest in South Korea. The volume is 2.75 times that of the Galaxy Note 7 and 5.5 times that of the Galaxy S7 for 2 days. (CN Beta, TechNewsZDNet, Android Beat, Hankyung)

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Wearables

Xiaomi is launching VR glasses PLAY2, priced at CNY99. It is using new material so that it is more comfortable to wear. (My Drivers, ChinaZ, IT Home)

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ZTE Quartz is a true standalone smartwatch, with LTE connectivity, a microphone, and a speaker. It features 1.4” AMOLED display, 500mAh battery, IP67 waterproof, running Android Wear 2.0 on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset, available via T-Mobile for USD192. (Android Central, TMO News, Chip Chick, Business Wire)

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Internet of Things

Turkey’s Vestel is reportedly in talks to buy the television unit of Japan’s Toshiba Corp. Vestel signed a 5-year agreement with Toshiba in 2016, giving it the right to produce and sell televisions under the Toshiba brand in Europe. (CN Beta, Reuters, Asia Nikkei, Business Insider)

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