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06-17: Samsung Display is set to break ground for its new OLED plant A4 line; Mechanical components bringing economic force to China; etc.

Chipsets

Though Mainland China vendors reportedly readjusted their 2017 targets to less volume, Taiwan-based chipset vendors including LCD drivers, fingerprint sensors, driver IC, analog IC indicate that in 2Q17 they see some orders increasing. (Digitimes, EE World, Laoyaoba)

Qualcomm’s FABRIC project recently had a successful test run, able to charge a moving electric vehicle on a specially set up test track. The company has been working with partners in the EU on wirelessly charging electric vehicles since 2014. (Android Headlines, TechCrunch, The Street, IoT Home)

qualcomm-fabrric-test-in-france qualcomm-fabrric-test-in-france

Of China’s top-25 best-selling smartphones in the first quarter of 2017, 52% adopt Qualcomm’s application processors while 36% incorporate MediaTek’s solutions, according to Digitimes Research. Qualcomm’s chips are being used for flagship, high-end and mainstream smartphone devices, while MediaTek remains competitive in the entry-level and mid-range segment. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes)

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Intel is showcasing its own wireless VR add-on, built together with DisplayLink. It is based on WiGig technology, which the company claims delivers less than 7ms of latency. And since WiGig relies on the 802.11ad standard, it can reach gigabit speeds over the uncrowded 60GHz spectrum. (CN Beta, Engadget, Tom’s Hardware, PC World)

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IC foundries are gearing up for mass production of 7nm chips in 2018, as well as production for 7nm process technology using extreme ultraviolet (EUV), according to Digitimes. Major players in the 7nm foundry segment will be TSMC, Samsung, Globalfoundries and Intel. (Digitimes, press, TechNews)

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SEMI has predicted record spending for fab construction and fab equipment in 2017 and 2018. Korea, Taiwan and China will all see large investments, and spending in Europe will also increase significantly.

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In 2017, over USD49B will be spent on equipment alone, a record for the semiconductor industry, SEMI said. Spending on new fab construction is projected to reach over USD8B, the second largest year on record. (Semi, press, Digitimes)

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The global handset baseband processor market grew 5% on year to reach USD22.3B in 2016, according to Strategy Analytics. Qualcomm, MediaTek, Samsung LSI, Spreadtrum and HiSilicon grabbed the top-five baseband revenue share spots during the year. Qualcomm, despite intense competition, maintained its baseband leadership with 50% revenue share, followed by MediaTek with 24% revenue share. (Strategy Analytics, press, Digitimes, press, iFeng)

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Touch Display

Samsung Display is set to break ground for its new OLED plant A4 line, which would cost a total of KRW8T. The new OLED plant is scheduled to start mass-producing 60,000 sheets of Gen-6 OLED on a monthly basis from 2019.  (OLED-Info, Korea Economic Daily)

According to industry analyst Pan Jiutang, Huawei at the earliest in 2H17 will launch its 18:9 full display smartphone. It is rumored at the earliest Aug 2017. If this is true, that means its full display smartphone would be Honor Note 9 or Mate 10. (Laoyaoba, Tencent)

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Mechanical

Display is the most costly component for a smartphone. Other main mechanical components: connectors, TP, metal casing, cover glass, also have generated a tremendous economic force for China. (Sina, Laoyaoba, Zhitong, article)

ningshan-china-supply-chain-for-mechanical

Connectivity

There are now 5B mobile subscribers worldwide, according to GSMA Intelligence indicating “more than 2/3 of the global population” being connected to a mobile service.It has taken 4 years for the number of subscribers to go up from 4B to 5B. It also seems likely that it will take around the same amount of time for the next billion to be reached, as GSMA Intelligence expects that by the end of this decade, the number of mobile subscribers will have climbed to 5.7B. (Android Headlines, VentureBeat, GSMA Intelligence, Sohu, Sohu)

gsma-5b-mobile-subscribers

T-Mobile ran away with 45% of the 600MHz spectrum at the FCC’s spectrum auction earlier 2017, and the time has come to start using it. T-Mobile is going to use its newly acquired licenses for 600MHz to beef up its high-speed LTE network in 2017 summer. (Android Central, BGR, TMO News, T-Mobile, CN Beta)

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According to Ericsson Mobility report, in just 5 years (from 2017 to 2022), North American consumers are expected to move from an average of 5GB of mobile data usage to a whopping 26GB per month per smartphone. Globally, mobile data traffic grew 70% between 1Q16 and 1Q17, with mobile video traffic driving much of that, mostly through Netflix but also YouTube and other video content. Social networking is the second largest traffic volume contributor for smartphones. (Android Headlines, Ericsson report, Fierce Wireless, OfWeek)

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The overall mobile subscriber base in the country is likely to grow to 1.4B by 2022 and nearly 1/3 of them will be 4G users, says Ericsson Mobility. India led the mobile subscriber’s growth globally with the highest net addition of over 43M customers in 1Q17. China followed India with a net addition of over 24M. India’s total mobile subscriber base is expected to grow to over 1.4B in the next 5 years of which 520M will be 4G subscribers. However, the relatively lower-speed 2G and 3G services will still have a commanding share in the Indian mobile phone market by the year 2022. (Financial Express, NDTV, India Times, OfWeek, Baijing)

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Smartphones

LG is reportedly considering whether to move the launch of its top 2018 handset, tentatively called the G7, a couple of months earlier, which means we might see an announcement for the G7 as early as Jan 2018.  (Phone Arena, The Investor, Leikeji, Money DJ)

Amazon.com has said oit would buy Whole Foods Market Inc for USD13.7B, in an embrace of brick-and-mortar stores that could turn the high-end grocer into a mass-market merchant and upend the already struggling U.S. retail industry. (Android Headlines, Washington Post, NY Times, Reuters, Yicai, Sohu)

amazon-acquires-whole-foods-market

LeEco has reportedly closed down its third-party service centres located in Shanghai, mentioning that the specific service center has been suspended due to operational adjustments and that the shop no longer accepts LeEco phones. (My Drivers, Android Headlines, GizChina)

leeco-closing-shanghai-service-center

OPPO’s supply chain management capability is strong because reportedly OPPO has a huge volume for one project, pay up promptly, plan accordingly, does not steal supplier’s technology, does not cut costs, does not have senseless process, transparent and follow rules. (My Drivers, Zaker, ChinaZ)

oppo-supply-chain-is-strong

Meizu has officially announced that the Meizu Pay feature will be opening for Open Beta as from June 21.  The open beta for the Meizu Pay will run from June 21 to July 20 and is only open for users of the Meizu Pro 5 and Pro 6 Plus, two of its flagship models with NFC. (My Drivers, Sohu, Gizmo China, IT Home)

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ivvi V3 is official in China – 5.5” HD display, 64-bit processor, 13MP + 13MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 7.0, 3200mAh battery, CNY1599. (Gizmo China, CN Beta, iFeng)

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Wearables

Samsung quietly bought a New York-based startup called VRB with USD5.5M , which has developed several apps to capture and view 360º content. (Android Headlines, TechCrunch, Business Journal, CN Beta)

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Inventec Appliance president David Ho recently said the company’s handheld device shipments including smartphones, wearable devices, earphones and smart voice assistant devices will reach 70M units in 2017, up from 2016’s 58M units. The company currently has orders for 2-3 smart voice assistant devices . (CN Beta, China Times, UDN)

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Internet of Things

Chinese bike-sharing behemoth Mobike has raised a chunky USD600M in a series E round of funding led by Tencent, with participation from Sequoia, TPG, and Hillhouse Capital, among others. This takes Mobike’s total financing to date to around USD925M. (VentureBeat, CN Beta)

Sharp has voluntarily dismissed its New York federal court suit against Hisense over the manufacturer’s alleged fraudulent misrepresentation of the quality of certain Sharp-branded televisions, a dispute that is currently also the basis of pending arbitration in Singapore and litigation in California. (CN Beta, Law360)

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