07-26: Sorry for being absent 2 days again. Samsung wants to capture 25% market share of foundry business; Apple is allegedly building flexible OLED production in Taiwan; etc.

Chipsets

E.S. Jung, executive VP and head of the new Samsung foundry division, indicates that the company’s Giheung chip campus the firm wants a 25% market share within 5 years and will seek to attract smaller customers in addition to big-name clients to fuel the growth. The foundry and memory businesses will share the 6 trillion won next-generation chip production line that will be built in Hwaseong, South Korea. (CN Beta, Reuters, Ars Technica, Electronics Weekly)

Qualcomm has responded to a letter filed in opposition to a bid to bar import of Apple iPhone models not using its modem chips, accusing a tech lobbying group of conducting a “coordinated effort aimed at misdirecting” trade regulators.  (CN Beta, CNET, Apple Insider, Reuters)

Qualcomm has announced the immediate availability of the Neural Processing Engine (NPE) SDK on Qualcomm Developer Network. The Snapdragon NPE is engineered to provide developers with software tools to accelerate deep neural network workloads on mobile and other edge devices powered by Snapdragon processors.  (Android Headlines, Qualcomm, XDA-Developers, TechCrunch, CN Beta)

Analyst Pan Jiutang indicates that MediaTek’s hardest time is almost over, Meizu has decided to stay with MediaTek and Qualcomm, and abandon Samsung. Meizu Pro 7 will be powered by MediaTek Helio P25, while PRO 7 Plus will be powered by Helio X30. (My Drivers, My Drivers, Android Soul, Gizmo China)

TSMC is reportedly starting mass production of the 10nm Huawei Kirin 970 in Sept 2017 and will provide the chips in time for the Mate 10, anticipated to launch in Oct 2017. The successor of the Kirin 960 will keep the Cortex A73 CPU architecture. An improvement is expected with the GPU, which is said to feature 12 cores.  (GSM Arena, My Drivers, Playful Droid)

Huawei HiSilicon has occupied China 50% market share, with its own ultra high definition smart TV SoC. In 2016 the shipment has reached near 10M units, and it has entered China top 6 TV vendors supply chain. (Laoyaoba, EEPW, Xinhuanet)

Touch Display

Lenovo has showcased foldable Folio concept tablet featuring 7.8” 1920×1440 display that can be folded (with 4.2mm fold radius) into 2-sided 5.5” displays smartphone. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. (Gizmo China, MS Poweruser, Phone Arena, CN Beta, Sohu)

Apple is rumored have purchased OLED deposition system from Sunic System, which it will use in Taiwan R&D center for flexible OLED production lines. Currently OLED deposition system market is led by Canon Tokki, which has tight collaboration with Samsung. If Sunic System’s equipment has been tested smoothly in Taiwan, it is hoping to break the leadership of Canon Tokki and Samsung Display in OLED equipment market. (China TimesLaoyaoba, Digitimes, press)

Smartphone panel costs have reached bottom and raised again. In Jun 2017, a-Si smartphone panel costs have increased about 10%, and driven by the hype of 18:9 full-display smartphone, the costs can increase 10%~20% in 3Q17. This will benefit HannStar and CPT back to their normal self. AUO and Innolux and other mid-to-small sized panel makers will be beneficial too. (UDN, Laoyaoba)

LG Display (LGD) said it would invest KRW1.99T (USD1.75B) to produce flexible organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, displays for use in mobile phones. (Apple Insider, WSJ, Sina, Reuters)

Camera

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has confirmed on 3x optical zoom and camera configurations of Samsung Galaxy Note 8. The Galaxy Note 8’s dual camera system will include a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens. Kuo added that the standard sensor will be of 13MP and the telephoto sensor will be of 12MP. (Gizmo China, My Drivers, GSM Arena)

Battery

Apple is reportedly working with Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), a battery manufacturer in China’s Fujian province, on a scheme based on a confidentiality agreement. The parties are working together in the field of batteries. (CN Beta, Mac Rumors, Apple Insider, Yi Cai Global, Seeking Alpha)

Memory

SK Hynix plans to increase production share of 10nm DRAM and 14nm NAND Flash. In 2016, SK Hynix has launched KRW6.29T (about USD5.6B) investment plan, and in 2017 the investment will in crease to KRW7T. It also plans to invest to build new NAND Flash fab in Cheongju by end Jun 2019. The R&D cost in 2016 was KRW2.1T, which was 12.2% of revenues. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes, 52RD)

Biometrics

Currently Holtek Semiconductor is working with Gingy Technology entering the supply chain for ASUS and Huawei, as well as Alibaba’s smart office segment. Holtek provides its MCU to Gingy, integrated with the fingerprint IC module of the latter, which has begun shipment in 2017. (Laoyaoba, China Times)

Connectivity

Huawei marketing and IoT solution sales director Liu Jianfeng indicates that Huawei is always at the front of making international standards. Currently Huawei’s first commercial use NB-IoT chipset Boudica 120 (powered by Huawei LiteOS) monthly shipment could reach 1M units. (Laoyaoba, EE World, KK News)

Smartphones

Lenovo has announced CAVA, a smart assistant that relies on deep learning to build facial recognition systems and natural language understanding technologies to better understand queries. CAVA learns based on usage habits, and it can parse messages to serve up recommendations.  (CN Beta, Neowin, Android Central)

Mobile gaming revenue grew 32% from a year ago to USD12.2B in 2Q17, according to Sensor Tower. Game revenues on iOS grew 34%, while Google Play grew 28%. Mobile game downloads on iOS and Google Play combined were 9.2B, up 19% from 7.7B a year earlier. (VentureBeat, Sensor Tower, press, CN Beta)

According to Counterpoint Research, Apple dominates sales for smartphones priced over USD600 (or CNY4,000) in China. Apple’s share of this super-premium segment remains at 80%, with 5 out of the top 10 model SKUs belonging to Apple. The CNY4000 and above segment mostly peaks during the Apple iPhone launch quarter and shrinks for the rest of the year. (CN Beta, Market Realist)

According to Canalys, after 6 consecutive quarters of growth, Chinese smartphone shipments fell 3% to 113M in 2Q17. Huawei shipped over 23M to lead the market for the second quarter in a row. OPPO shipped just over 21M and had to settle for 2nd place, despite growing 37% year on year. vivo held onto 3rd place, shipping just over 16M. (Apple Insider, Canalys)

According to Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, the smartphones shipments in China grew a modest 3% annually during 2Q17. Huawei and vivo were the fastest growing brands followed by OPPO and Xiaomi, together cementing the top four spots and extending their lead over Apple and Samsung by a widening margin.  (CN Beta, Counterpoint Research, press)

Sugar F11 is launched – 5.5” FHD  2.5D curved IPS display, Qualcomm octa-core processor, dual rear 13MP-8MP + front 16MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB ROM, Android 6.0 (Sugar OS 3.1), 3000mAh battery, CNY2400. (Sohu, Laoyaoba, Sugar Phone)

Samsung Galaxy J7 Nxt launched In India – 5.5” HD Super AMOLED display, octa-core processor, 13MP  (f/1.9) + 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 7.0, 3000mAh battery, INR11,400. (Gizmo China, Samsung, GSM Arena)

Yu Mobiles launches YUNIQUE 2 in India – 5” HD display, MediaTek MT6737 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 7.0, 2500mAh battery, INR5,999. (Android Authority, GSM Arena, India Times)

Moto Z2 Force Edition is official – 5.44” QHD Super AMOLED Shatter Shield display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, rear dual 12MP (1.25µm) – 12MP (1.25µm) + front 5MP cameras, 4 / 6GB RAM, 64 / 128GB storage, Android 7.1.1, fingerprint sensor, USB C, 2730mAh battery. (Android Headlines, Android Central, Android Central)

BLU launching R2 and R2 LTE, with 5.2” HD display, Android 7.0: R2 – MediaTek MT6580 processor, 8MP (f2.0) + 8MP cameras, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, 3G, 3000mAh battery. R2 LTE – MediaTek MT6737 processor, 13MP (f2.0) + 13MP cameras, 2 / 3GB RAM, 16 / 32GB storage, LTE, 3000mAh battery. (Android Headlines)

Wearables

Quanta Computer is expected to enjoy a strong 2H17 thanks to rising demand for notebooks, growing server sales and the release of the next-generation Apple Watch. Apple is reportedly planning to launch its third-generation Apple Watch in 2017 and the wearable is likely to help Quanta’s Apple Watch product line turn profitable. (Apple Insider, Digitimes, press, CN Beta)

Internet of Things

Motorola Solutions will collaborate with Boston, Massachusetts-based artificial intelligence company Neurala on the development of intelligent cameras that will support public safety users. (CN Beta, Daily Mail, Executive Biz, Networks Asia)

Lyft is opening its own self-driving division, which is developing an open self-driving system (open SDS). Lyft’s self-driving vehicles will operate on that network, alongside vehicles introduced by Lyft partners.  (Ubergizmo, Medium, Tencent)

iRobot is looking at mapping user’s houses with permission using newer version of the 900-series Roomba, and selling that data to Apple, Amazon, and Google. This is done by simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology implemented in the 2015 revision of the technology. (Apple Insider, Reuters, CN Beta)

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