08-02: Apple has asked the Indian government to extend tax breaks to its suppliers; Samsung is reportedly planning to apply Y-OCTA display; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm is reportedly launching subsidy to attract customers for its RF component, and Lenovo / Motorola has become its first customer, challenging Skyworks, Airoha and other PA vendors. Qualcomm formed a RFFE (radio frequency front end) joint venture called RF360 with TDK. (Laoyaoba, UDN, Megatime, Market Realist)

Touch Display

FlexEnable, the leader in the development and industrialization of organic electronics for flexible displays and sensors, has signed a technology transfer and license agreement with Truly Semiconductors. The deal aims to bring FlexEnable’s flexible organic liquid crystal display (OLCD) technology into mass production on Truly’s lines within 2018. (Laoyaoba, Business Insider, CSDN)

Samsung is reportedly planning to apply Y-OCTA display, which is Samsung Display’s technology that applies touch function into flexible OLED, to its 1H18 strategic smartphone (Galaxy S9). It implements touch function right away during manufacturing process of a display, separate parts are not needed. In result, it is likely that makers of these parts such as touch-films will be affected greatly due to reduced demands of their products. Y-OCTA displays are manufactured from one of Samsung Display’s A3 lines in Tangjung. (ET News, Phone Arena, Weand, Money DJ, 51Touch)

Memory

ChipMOS Technologies (Shanghai), a joint venture between Taiwan-based ChipMOS and Tsinghua Unigroup, has obtained backend orders for NOR flash memory from Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing (XMC), according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press)

IC Insights now expects the IC market to increase 16% in 2017 due to exceptional growth in the DRAM and NAND flash memory markets. The DRAM market is now forecast to grow 55% and the NAND flash market is now expected to rise 35% in 2017—in both cases, almost entirely due to fast-rising prices rather than unit growth. (IC Insights, press, TechNews)

Nanya Technology has licensed 1x and 1y DRAM technologies from Micron Technology, and is mulling developing a 10nm process in-house. Nanya has unveiled its new headquarters consisting of a new fab, in which the Taiwan-based DRAM maker invested a total of NTD55.7B (USD1.84B). (Digitimes, press, NTDTV, China Times, Digitimes)

Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix are anticipated to make record investments to expand and upgrade their facilities. The two companies plan to allocated a whopping KRW30T (USD26.7B) to secure sustainable growth following their robust performances.Christopher Danely of Citigroup views the increase in capital spending on DRAM of Micron in 2017, from USD8.9B previously to USD9.9B currently, as being too little to cause a downturn. (Korea Herald, Money DJ, Barron’s)

Smartphones

Apple has announced financial results for its F3Q17 ended July 1, 2017. Apple posted quarterly revenue of USD45.4B.  iPhone sales for the period reached 41M, up from 40.4M the year prior. iPad sales were also strong in the quarter, reaching 11.4M units. (Apple Insider, Apple, CN Beta, Laoyaoba)

Apple has asked the Indian government to extend tax breaks to its suppliers if India seeks to become a manufacturing hub for iPhones and its components. Government officials say meeting this request would require a new policy that applies fairly to other device makers, too. (Apple Insider, Reuters, CN Beta)

Apple has announced recently that the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) had certified approximately 320,000 acres of working forest that the company supports in China, enough for all its product packaging. (Xinhuanet, Apple Insider, CN Beta)

Apple’s cash pile swelled again in F3Q17, hitting a record USD261.5B, compared with USD256.8B last quarter. That is up 13% on year. (CN Beta, CNBC, Quartz)

Spotify has added 20M paid subscribers in less than a year, while it has taken Apple Music more than 1.5 years to make that progress. Spotify now has 60M subscribers, compared to Apple Music’s 27M (as of Jun 2017). (TechCrunch, Spotify, Yesky, Tencent)

According to Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew 6% annually to reach 360M units in 2Q17. Samsung maintained first position with 22% global smartphone market share, while Apple dipped to 11% share. Xiaomi surged 58% annually and rejoined the top 5 rankings for the first time in a year. (Strategy Analytics, press, My Drivers)

ZTE has reportedly sold a considerable stake in Nubia to investors, and no longer owns the majority stake in Nubia. ZTE now owns 49.9% of Nubia shares, which still makes the company an extremely important shareholder. (Android Headlines, CN Beta)

Infinix has entered Indian market launching 2 new devices: Note 4 – 5.7” FHD display, MediaTek MT6753 processor, 13MP + 8MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 7.0, 4300mAh battery, INR8,999. Hot 4 Pro – 5.5” HD display, MediaTek MT6737 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 6.0, 4000mAh battery, INR7,499. (Android Headlines, Digit, NDTV)

Moto G5s and G5s Plus are official: G5s – 5.2” FHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 16MP PDAF + 5MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 3000mAh battery, EUR249. G5s Plus – 5.5” FHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, rear dual 13MP-13MP + front 5MP cameras, 3 / 4GB RAM, 32 / 64GB storage, 3000mAh battery, EUR299. (Android Headlines, The Verge, CNET, Android Authority)

Wearables

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple has reported R&D spend at USD2.94B in F3Q17, or more than 6.4% of quarterly net sales. CEO Tim Cook has voiced Apple’s interest in AR applications, and he also mentioned that the company is very focused on autonomous systems from a core technology point of view. (Apple Insider, Patently Apple, Mac Rumors, Cult of Mac, Sina, CN Beta, Sohu)

Apple CEO Tim Cook indicates that the company continues to struggle to meet the “strong level of demand for AirPods”, even though the company has recently increased production capacity. (Ubergizmo, 9to5Mac, ZOL, Yesky)

Apple has been rumored to be developing its own smart glasses. The company’s AR firm Mataio has filed a patent for the technology. It shows how the same approach might be adapted to both a smartphone screen and smart glasses. (Laoyaoba, 9to5Mac, Patently Apple, Daily Mail)

Samsung is reportedly working on a new wearable device, which will combine ‘the best bits from Gear S3 and Gear Fit 2’. The new device that will have some smartwatch functions, along with fitness tracking capabilities. (GSM Arena, Pocket Lint, Sam Mobile, Zaeke)

Internet of Things

Didi Chuxing has expanded its increasingly global empire after it made an investment in Taxify, an Uber-like service that operates in Europe and Africa as it prepares to launch in London later 2017. (TechCrunch, CNBC, Business Insider, 36Kr, Sina)

3D Robotics (3DR) is now focused on enterprise software, specifically an offering called Site Scan that aims to help construction and engineering firms better manage their building sites and operations. 3D Robotics’ mobile app will work with DJI drones. (Engadget, 3DR, The Verge, Quartz, Laoyaoba)

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