07-08: Qualcomm has filed a complaint with ITC against Apple; HMD Global, which now owns the Nokia brand, and Zeiss have announced a new long term development partnership; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm has filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) against Apple, which it says uses 6 patented technologies without offering the correct compensation to Qualcomm. (Android Central, Qualcomm, Reuters, WSJ, Sina, My Drivers)

Sony has been allegedly working to release a smartphone chipset from 2015, and now it appears that the first flagship touting the company’s self-developed SoC could finally be unveiled at IFA 2017 trade show. Due to lack of experience, manufacturers might find it difficult to commence chip design on the 10nm FinFET architecture and has decided to dial it back a node and start manufacturing on the 16nm FinFET process. (Laoyaoba, WCCFTech)

Touch Display

Japan Display Inc (JDI) showcasing flexible panel, having a narrow bezel features. JDI flexible panel allows users to perform different kinds of control, yet it is not sure what at this moment. (Laoyaoba, Semi, FPDisplay, LED-100)

The production scale and shipments of AMOLED panels has increased significantly recently due to increasing adoption by smartphone vendors, narrowing down the production costs between AMOLED and TFT LCD smartphone panels. The production cost for a 5.5” HD AMOLED panel has drifted to USD12.10 recently compared to USD12.20 for a 5.5” HP LTPS LCD panel, according to IHS Markit. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba)

Google reportedly working on Always On Display for Pixel phones. Based on a system UI APK from Android O, it looks like Google might bring an Always On Display feature to its Pixel smartphones. (Android Authority, XDA Developers)

Apple is reportedly planning to use advanced organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays in all new iPhone models launched from 2H18. Taipei-based Yuanta Investment Consulting said shipments of new iPhone models in 2H17 will reach 90M, half of which will be OLED handsets. (GSM Arena, Asia Nikkei, CN Beta)

LG Chem, Korea’s leading chemical company, announced that it has signed a patent-sharing agreement with Idemitsu Kosan, a Japanese petrochemical company. The global OLED material market is forecast to reach KRW1.6T (USD1.39B) in 2020, sharply up from estimated KRW800B in 2016, according to LG Chem. (Android Headlines, Yonhap News, Business Korea, OfWeek, HC360)

Camera

HMD Global, which now owns the Nokia brand, and Zeiss, one of the leading brands in the imaging hardware industry, have announced a new long term development partnership aimed at setting new imaging standards in the smartphone industry.  (Android Authority, The Verge, PR Newswire, Sohu, Engadget, Sina)

Memory

Production at Micron’s Fab-2 fabrication plant in Taiwan’s Taoyuan City was suspended on 1 Jul 2017 due to the malfunctioning of a nitrogen gas dispensing system that led to the contamination of wafers and equipment within the facility. TrendForce estimates that Micron (or Inotera), has suffered a production capacity loss of around 60K wafer starts per month as a result of the malfunction. (CN Beta, Techspot, Evertiq, Kit Guru, Reuters)

Consider 2016 a year of supply-demand balance, setting the base number at 100, considering supply and demand factors, in the future, NOR Flash undersupply would be a norm, expecting 2017 shortage at 13.4%, which will be worsen in the future. The 2017~2020 CAGR of NOR Flash market expects to be 15.74%, by 2020 the market size will reach USD4.768B.  (OfWeek, report, HC360, Laoyaoba)

Smartphones

Worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones are expected to exceed 2.3B units in 2017, a decline of 0.3% from 2016, according to Gartner. The market is forecast to return to growth in 2018 with a 1.6% increase in shipments. Overall smartphone shipments will grow 5% in 2017, reaching nearly 1.6B units.  (Gartner, press, Laoyaobao)

According to GfK, in Dec 2016~May 2017, Chinese smartphone market price segments below CNY600 and CNY600~1000 have been dropping in 6 consecutive months. In Dec 2016, about 12% consumers have purchased below CNY600 smartphone; and 19% has purchased CNY600~1000. After 6 months, these 2 price segments have dropped 8% and 13%, respectively. (My Drivers, Sohu, Sina)

Asustek Computer has given some details about its new business reorganization plans and instead of laying off employees as rumored, the company will move some workers from existing departments to a new group called Talent Pool to assist business units and help innovate technology, according to company CEO Jerry Shen. (CN Beta, My Drivers, Taipei Times, Digitimes)

High-end digital camera maker RED revealed its plans to release the Hydrogen One, a high-powered, unlocked Android smartphont at USD1195. The phone features 5.7” display that uses nanotechnology to “seamlessly [switch] between traditional 2D content, holographic multi-view content, 3D content, and interactive games.” (Engadget, RED, CN Beta, The Verge, Business Insider)

Based on unofficial numbers, LeEco, including its subsidy Leshi Internet Information & Technology, has received (via direct or indirect funding) about CNY72.859B investment. Yet, the investment from the company has amounted to CNY150B. (JRJ, Caijing, Sina, Reuters, CNBC)

Microsoft has revealed that it plans to cut thousands of jobs as part of a reorganization process that will see the software giant focus its efforts on the cloud. The layoffs are expected to primarily impact Microsoft’s sales force, and reportedly around 10% of the company’s total sales staff will be let go (up to 3,000 jobs).  (Laoyaoba, Sina, CNFOL, CN Beta, Fortune, The Verge, The Street, CNBC)

SoundCloud is cutting over 40% of its staff, the company announced. The streaming service will let go 173 of its 420 employees in order to “ensure our path to long-term, independent success,” SoundCloud CEO Alex Ljung wrote.  (CN Beta, NY Times, TechCrunch, The Verge, SoundCloud)

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun announced that the company shipped 23.16M smartphones in 2Q17, an increase of 70% from the previous quarter. He has set a ‘humble’ revenue goal of CNY100B for the year, and kicking off a new chapter for the company, he aims for Xiaomi to ship 100M smartphones in 2018. (Android Authority, Economic Times, The Paper, iFeng)

Chinese phone maker Cubot collaborates with one of the largest retailer in South Africa, Arbalest, making Arbalest the exclusive importer of Cubot phones in the country and perhaps the region. (Gizmo China, My Broadband)

Brisk sales of the HTC U11 series smartphones buoyed revenues at HTC in Jun 2017, which climbed to the highest for 2017 at NTD6.89B (USD225.2M). The monthly figures represented an increase of 8.38% from the previous month and 52.1% from a year earlier. For 1H17, revenues totaled NTD30.67B, decreasing 8.4% from a year earlier. (Android Headlines, Digitimes, HTC, Phone Arena, Sohu, China Times)

LG has revealed its 2Q17 earnings guidance. LG has generated KRW664B (USD574.49M) in profit, while revenue stood at KRW14.6T (USD12.6B). The company’s operating income during the same period has also declined 28% when compared with 1Q17, however it remains 13,6% up over the KRW584.6B posted in 2Q17. (Android Authority, Reuters, GizChina, Laoyaoba)

Huawei expects to corner 20%~25% in smartphones priced between INR28,000~35,000 sold online during 2017. (India Times, Laoyaoba)

Days after the government announced 10% basic customs duty (BCD) on smartphone manufacturers as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) came into practice, Allen Wang, Director, Product Center, Huawei India Consumer Business Group, has said it will marginally hike prices of its smartphones available online. (Laoyaoba, Indian Express, The Quint, Financial Express)

vivo X9s and X9s Plus are announced, with rear 16MP + front dual 20MP-5MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, Android 7.1: X9s – 5.5” FHD AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, 3320mAh battery, CNY2698. X9s Plus – 5.85” FHD AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 processor, 4015mAh battery, CNY2998. (Android Crunch, GSM Arena, Android Headlines, Gizmo China)

Samsung Galaxy On Max is announced in India – 5.7” FHD LCD display, MediaTek Helio P20 processor, 13MP f/1.7 + 13MP f/1.9 cameras, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, 3300mAh battery, INR16,900. (Android Headlines, Android Police, GSM Arena, Flipkart)

Huawei Enjoy 7 is launched in China – 5” HD 2.5D curved display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor, 13MP PDAF + 5MP cameras, 2 / 3GB RAM, 16 / 32GB storage, 3020mAh battery, from CNY899. (GizChina, Gizmo China, iFeng)

Wearables

Jiobit has launched the Jiobit Smart Tag for parents to keep track of their kids. It features built-in security and machine learning algorithms. (Android Headlines, Digital Trends)

Jawbone, the company behind once popular fitness trackers, is reportedly liquidating its assets and shutting down. Jawbone founder and CEO Hosain Rahman has launched a new company called Jawbone Health Hub that will focus on clinical medical softer and hardware.  (CN BetaThe Information, TechCrunch, The Verge, 9to5Mac)

Internet of Things

Baidu and Irvine, California-based audio software company Conexant have announced a new partnership meant to facilitate advancements in the artificial intelligence (AI) segment, specifically the one aimed at voice-enabled product and services, as well as their commercial implementations. (Android Headlines, 91.com, Minimouse)

China’s Alibaba Group has launched “Tmall Genie X1” with CNY499. It can be activated by voice commands to perform tasks, such as checking calendars, searching for weather reports, changing music or control smart-home devices, using internet connectivity and artificial intelligence. (VentureBeat, CN Beta, Sohu, My Drivers)

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