07-27: Huawei will launch its own AI chipset in Sept 2017; LGD will invest about USD7B to boost its OLED production capacity; etc.

Chipsets

Intel has weighed in on the legal sparring between Apple and Qualcomm, accusing the latter of (ab)using the courts to destroy any competition it has. (CN Beta, Beta News, Intel)

A U.S. judge has ordered Apple to pay USD506M for infringing on a patent owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s patent licensing arm. Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), sued Apple in 2014, accusing its A7, A8, and A8X chips of infringing US Patent No. 5,781,752, which claims a type of “table based data speculation circuit”. (CN Beta, Ars Technica, Reuters)

Huawei consumer business CEO Richard Yu indicates that the company will launch its own AI chipset in Sept 2017. (CN Beta, Sohu)

Touch Display

TrendForce finds the global shipments of LCD TV panels totaled 123.35M units for 1H17, amounting to a tiny dip of 0.1% compared with 1H16. Since Samsung Display closed its Gen-7 fab L7-1 at the end of 2016, TV brands since 1Q17 have been vigilant against the supply tightening in the mid-size segments and kept stocking up. Their demand was strong enough to offset the traditional seasonal effect during 1H17. (Laoyaoba, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)

Sigma Intell indicates that in 1H17 LCD TV shipment has reached 169M units, 6% down on year; and global LCD TV panel shipment has dropped 1.5% on year. Global TV brands inventory is increasing, by end of 2Q17 the inventory has reached 6 quarters high. In particular, main vendors inventory has reached 10 weeks, some even higher than 12 weeks. (CTEE, Laoyaoba, China Times, Sigma Intell, press)

LG Display (LGD) announced that it will invest KRW7.8T (about USD7B) to boost its OLED production capacity. This increases the stakes in LG’s competition with Samsung over OLED displays, a market that Samsung dominates by far, as Apple prepares to launch the iPhone 8, which is widely expected to come with OLED screens. (Laoyaoba, Reuters, NASDAQ, iClarified, TechCrunch)

AU Optronics (AUO) has announced its consolidated revenues for 2Q17 came to NTD84.41B (USD2.78B), down by 4.7% from the previous quarter. Net profit attributable to owners of the company for 2Q17 was NTD9.83B. Shipments of small- to medium-sized panels in 2Q17 were around 38.65M units. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes, press, UDN)

Smartphones

Foxconn has announced plans to build a USD10B LCD display panel screen plant over 4 years to build a 20Mft2 plant that could eventually employ up to 13,00o in Wisconsin. (CN Beta, NY Times, CNN, Reuters)

According to App Annie, the app store market as a whole is growing by 15% per year in number of downloads. Google Play leads the charge gaining at 20% YoY with games being the main driver, and holds a 135% lead over Apple’s iOS App Store. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, App Annie, report)

According to Canalys, the Indian smartphone market contracted for the first time in its history, as shipments to the country fell 4% year on year to just under 27M units in 2Q17. Samsung continues to lead the market, with a 25% share, followed by Xiaomi, which more than quadrupled its shipments to 4.8M units this quarter. (GSM Arena, Canalys, press, C114)

Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory has allegedly already started the trial production of Apple next-generation iPhone, which has 3 models – iPhone 7s, 7s Plus and 8. It is an early state of production with only 200 units per day. (CN Beta, Laoyaoba, Value Walk, UDN, Tech Times, Gizbot, Daily Mail)

Messaging app WhatsApp has revealed that it now has 1B Daily Active Users (DAU). The app also now draws 1.3B Monthly Active Users. The very popular destination also posted some other information pertaining to its users. An amazing 55B messages are sent each and every day along with 4.5B photos.  (Phone Arena, TechCrunch, NDTV, iFeng, Sina)

Samsung Electronics said operating profit rose 72.7% to KRW14.1T in 2Q17. Net profit surged 89% to a record KRW11T. Revenue rose 19.8% to KRW61T, also in line with its earlier estimate. For its mobile division, Samsung reported 4.7% fall in profit. (VentureBeat, Phone Arena, Reuters, Financial Times, CN Beta)

Huawei has announced in 1H17 smartphone shipped 73.01M units, 20.6% up o n year; sales have reached CNY105.4B, a 36.2% up on year. (CN Beta, Sohu, My Drivers)

Meizu Pro 7 and Pro 7 Plus are official, , equipped with 1.9” 240×536 AMOLED rear display, have different editions powered by MediaTek Helio P25 / X30, rear dual 12MP colour – 12MP monochrome + front 16MP cameras: Pro 7 – 5.2” FHD Super AMOLED display, 4 / 6GB RAM, 64 / 128GB storage, 3000mAh battery, from CNY2880. Pro 7 Plus –  5.7” QHD Super AMOLED display, 6GB RAM, 64 / 128GB storage, 3500mAh battery, from CNY3580.  (Android Central, The Verge, GSM Arena, Qudong, iGao7, iFeng)

Xiaomi Mi 5X is announced – 5.5” FHD 2.5D curved display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, rear dual 12MP wide-angle – 12MP telephoto + front 5MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, Android 7.1, 3080mAh battery, CNY1499. (Android Authority, Fone Arena, HiAPK, TechWeb, My Drivers)

Leagoo KIICAA Mix is announced – 5.5” FHD+ (2220×1080) 18:9 display, MediaTek MT6737 / MT6750 / MT6795 processor, rear dual 13MP-13MP + 5MP cameras, 2 / 3 / 8GB RAM, 16 / 32 / 128GB storage, front fingerprint sensor, from USD89.99. (CN Beta, Android HeadlinesAndroid Headlines, Sohu, Forbes, Facebook, Gizmo China)

Internet of Things

Facebook is rumored to be planning to release a smart speaker product, but instead of voice recognition functionality, the company will focus more on image display and will adopt a 15” touch panel for the device, according to Digitimes citing sources from the upstream supply chain. The product will be manufactured by Pegatron Technology for release in 1Q18. (Android Authority, Digitimes, press, 163, Sohu)

Xiaomi smart speaker Mi AI Speaker is announced, which has an array of 6 microphones and 2 audio drivers. Controls for music playback are located at the top, and the speaker has six microphones for 360º audio sensing, and audio beam forming. It is priced at CNY299. (Android Central, Sohu, Sina, Tencent)

Britain is to ban all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 amid fears that rising levels of nitrogen oxide pose a major risk to public health. The commitment, which follows a similar pledge in France, is part of the government’s much-anticipated clean air plan, which has been at the heart of a protracted high court legal battle.  (Engadget, Guardian, Guardian, Xinhuanet)

According to eMarkter, the use of connected TV devices continues on a sharp upward path, with another year of double-digit growth in the US. In total, 168.1M people in the US will use an internet-connected TV in 2017, up 10.1% over 2016.  eMarketer estimates that 38.9M Americans will use a Roku device at least once a month, up 19.3% vs. 2016. As a result, the device will capture 23.1% of all connected TV users. (Apple Insider, eMarketer, press, Sina)

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