09-02 [IFA2017]: A series of new products are announced or launched; Xiaomi India sold 25M smartphone so far; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm has shown off its new Cellular-Vehicle-To-Everything (C-V2X) chipset together with a new reference design for automakers as a complete solution for helping to further the advancement of safety on the road for automobiles, specifically those that are self-driving. The 9150 C-V2X chipset, expected to be available for commercial sampling in 2H18, is based on specs from the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). (Android Headlines, Qualcomm, Ars Technica, Fierce Wireless, Digitimes)

Touch Display

China Securities indicates that 3D glass requires process of bending, polishing, silk screen and other processes, which is challenging the yield rate and increasing the costs at the same time. This is also the obstacle of 3D glass going mainstream. However, the factories are increasing their R&D, and improving the yield rate, which is about 80%l; meanwhile the cost is dropping at around CNY65, and by 2019 the cost will go down to CNY45. The market size is going to reach CNY40.5B. (Laoyaoba, Sohu, Xincailiao, Glass)

Apple allegedly plans to launch 2 OLED iPhones in 2018 – a 5.85” and 6.46” models. The 5.58” is the same size screen of the upcoming iPhone 8.  Apple has started development work with Samsung Display, the sole OLED supplier, and other parts makers earlier than usual. (Apple Insider, The Investor, CN Beta, Sohu)

Deutsche Bank analysts Sidney Ho and Ross Seymore sees OLED, as one of the fastest growing segments in hardware technology and that Universal Display is a pureplay in this trend, having been positioned with a strong IPO portfolio as well as a supplier of patented OLED materials. Chinese OEMs have also started adopting OLED in 2016. The firm thinks the reported adoption of OLED by Apple in 2017/2018 in its next-gen iPhone will accelerate the trend. (Laoyaoba, China Times, Barron’s, Benzinga, Street Insider)

Google reportedly has invested USD15M for a 13% stake in Glo, a university spin-out focused on creating nanowire-based LED-displays for mobile phones and smart watches as well as AR- and VR-applications. (CSIA, Laoyaoba, LED Inside, MEM)

[IFA2017] Sharp demonstrates its new IGZO free-form display. Targeting mobile devices, smart home gadgets, and car dashboards, the new screens promise tiny bezels along with their odd shapes. Indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) displays promise better colors and lower power consumption, and the ability to be cut into non-rectangular forms. (CN Beta, Slash Gear)

BOE Technology has reported net profits of CNY4.3B (USD653.4M) for 1H17, reversing from a net loss of CNY516M recorded a year earlier. 1H17 revenues came to CNY44.6B, increasing 68.65% from a year earlier. BOE is ranked number 1 panel maker for smartphone, tablet, and notebook. (52RD, OfWeek, 51Touch, Digitimes, press)

Camera

Samsung is planning to expand use of dual-cameras to lineup of its mid-tier smartphones. Techno System Research (TSR) predicted that 37.2% of smartphones (1.775B) that will be supplied in 2021 will be equipped with rear dual-camera modules. It also predicted that about 4.4% of smartphones will also have front dual-camera modules. (ET News, Android Authority, Laoyaoba)

2018 will be the year where the smartphone camera takes a quantum leap in technology,” said Philip-James Jacobowitz, a product manager for Qualcomm, a chip maker that provides components to smartphone makers. (CN Beta, NY Times, article)

Sensory

According to Jun Zhang from Rosenblatt Securities, Apple’s rumored 3D sensor supplier Lumentum will “maintain a lion’s share” of the supply for the iPhone 8. As a result, this will open up more opportunities in China’s market for its technology for the company that it did not have otherwise. Apple has signed an exclusive supply deal with Lumentum on vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) lasers. (Apple Insider, Online Phones, Baijiahao)

Connectivity

Up to now, Qorvo has led the antenna market by shipping cumulatively more than 10B units antenna switch products. Traditional LTE smartphone has shifted from 2×2 MIMO to 4×4 MIMO. Experts point out that the 4×4 MIMO brings additional benefit when the signal can be used to provide more support in case of weak signals. It can also provide 3dB of sensitivity to improve the performance of the edge of the unit. (XCN News, Laoyaoba, EEPW)

Smartphones

IDC expects that the Apple iPhone 8 will “spur a major upgrade cycle” in 2018 and drive iPhone shipments up by 9.1%. (Laoyaoba, Investopedia, CNBC)

Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Mehdi Hosseini indicates that production of Apple’s OLED-screen iPhone 8 is “off to a slow start” but forecasts remain unchanged for about 90M units to be built in 2H17. Apple has increased its 1Q18 production of the iPhone 8 handset to 55M units, he said. He expects the iPhone 8 to represent about 50% of Apple iPhone production mix in 2H17, rising to more than 70% in 1Q18. (SEMI, Laoyaoba, Investors, Smarter Analyst, Barron’s)

Xiaomi founder Lei Jun indicates that in 2016 Xiaomi has obtained 2895 patents, and till now Xiaomi has accumulatively more than 4000 patents, of which 50% are international patents. (Laoyaoba, 36Kr)

Xiaomi India VP Manu Kumar Jain put the company’s success in perspective, boasting the fastest ever climb to 25M unit sales. The feat only took 3 years and 1 month and is a local record. (GSM Arena, Twitter, NDTV, Indian Express, Huanqiu, Sohu)

According to a report, currently 360 Mobile has only about 500 staff, and sales are about 2M units, out of top 10 rank. In 2016, which was its peak time, 360 Mobile had about 1000 staff, and sales was about 5M units. For the whole 2016, 360 Mobile has lost about CNY800M. (Laoyaoba, Sina, article)

According to a listing from transaction firm Aqua Licensing LLC, Nokia is selling a portfolio containing 6,069 granted patents and 734 patent applications. The patents up for grabs come from patent families in six different technology categories, including Wireless; Services; IP and Networks; Access, Fixed, and Optical Networks; Hardware and Components; and User Experience, Mechanics, and Materials. (Laoyaoba, Wireless Week, Aqua Licensing)

Lephone Technology chairman Huang Mingquan announces that the company will launch new series under Dazen brand. Dazen brand is originally invested by Qihoo 360 in collaboration with Coolpad. (Tencent, Kejilie, Laoyaoba)

[IFA2017] BlackBerry Mobile’s ‎Global GM (Chief Commercial Officer) indicates that the physical keyboard form factor is here to stay. That means the market can expect another physical keyboard-toting device bearing the BlackBerry name in the near future. (Laoyaoba, TechRadar)

[IFA2017] Sony Xperia XA1 Plus is announced – 5.5” FHD display, MediaTek MT6757 Helio P20 processor, 23MP f/2.4 + 8MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 7.0, USB Type-C, side-mounted fingerprint sensor, 3430mAh battery. (Android Authority, GSM Arena, CNET)

[IFA2017] Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact are announced, powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, rear 19MP camera with Motion Eye and a 3D scanning mode, 4GB RAM, 2700mAh battery, IP68 certified: XZ1 – 5.2” FHD display, front 13MP camera, 64GB storage, USD700. XZ1 Compact – 4.6” HD display, front 8MP camera, 32GB storage, USD600. (Android Headlines, GSM Arena, Android Soul, The Verge)

[IFA2017] Caterpillar launching 2 rugged phones: Cat S41 – 5” Super Bright FHD display, MediaTek Helio P20 processor, 13MP + 8MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 7.0, 5000mAh battery, EUR449. Cat S31 – 4.7” HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, 8MP + 2MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 7.1, IP68 certified, 4000mAh battery, EUR329. (Android Authority, Cat Phones)

[IFA2017] Alcatel launching 4 new phones: Idol 5 – 5.2” FHD display, MediaTek MT6753 processor, 13MP+5MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 16GB storage, 2800mAh battery, EUR240. Idol 5s – 5.2” FHD display, MediaTek MT6757 processor, 12MP+8MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 2850mAh battery, EUR400. A7 – 5.5” FHD display, MediaTek Mt6750 processor, 16MP+8MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 4000mAh battery, EUR230. A7 XL – 6” FHD display, MediaTek MT6750S processor, rear dual 12MP-2MP + front 5MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 4000mAh battery. (Laoyaoba, CN Beta, Android Headlines, Laoyaoba, The Verge, Android and Me, GSM Arena)

Wearables

[IFA2017] Lenovo’s Mixed Reality headset is called The Explorer. It will come in 2 versions – the headset by itself for USD349.99, or the headset with the touch controllers for USD449.99.  It support Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant for additional controls, and includes two 1440×1440 displays. (Android Headlines, The Verge, Neowin, CN Beta)

The worldwide wearables market was once again graced with positive growth as shipments grew 10.3% YoY, reaching 26.3M during 2Q17, according to IDC. The quarter also marked a turning point in the market as basic wearables (those that do not run third party apps) declined for the first time with annual growth of -0.9%. Meanwhile, smartwatches like the lineup grew 60.9% in the quarter thanks to fitness and fashion enthusiasts. (IDC, press, Laoyaoba)

NPD suggests that Apple AirPods have driven the growth of the totally wireless headphone subcategory, accounting for nearly 85% of sales in the segment, as measured by dollars in the US. Apple AirPods have in part driven the headphone market by 22% when measured by dollar sales. Since the start of 2017, more than 900K totally wireless headphone units. (Laoyaoba, Sohu, Apple Insider, NPD)

[IFA2017] Garmin unveils the vívoactive 3, vívomove HR, and vívosport activity trackers. The vívoactive 3 is a smartwatch featuring Garmin Pay,  vívomove HR is a touchscreen hybrid smartwatch, while the vívosport is a slim activity tracker with a color touchscreen display. (Android Authority, Ars Technica, TechCrunch, Sohu, OfWeek)

[IFA2017] Bang & Olufsen unveiled the Beoplay E8 wireless earbuds. Each earpiece has a 5.7mm dynamic speaker, connect to a host device with Bluetooth 4.2, with touch controls on the surface that projects from the user’s ear. Battery life is about 4 hours. It is priced at USD299. (Apple Insider, Sohu, CN Beta)

[IFA2017] Sony’s WF-1000X has 6mm dome drivers, and implements the company’s “Adaptive Sound Control” that observe the user’s actions and automatically switches the noise cancellation feature on or off. Battery life is rated for 3 hours, with the battery case providing two charges. It is priced at USD199. (Apple Insider, 163, TechWeb, CN Beta)

Internet of Things

Foxconn has exit LeEco’s TV manufacture supply chain. Now, LeEco still has 4 ODMs, namely TPV, Echom, TCL and Coretronic. LeEco is also planning to include 2~3 TV ODMs, and if they succeed, their ODM numbers will increase to 7. (Laoyaoba, Sohu, 52RD, CCStock)

According to GfK, 2Q17 in China W-Fi speakers and Bluetooth speaker sales have achieved YoY growth of 65% and 63%, respectively, also their ASPs are stabilizing. Wi-Fi speakers ASP is about CNY768, which is higher than Bluetooth and normal speakers, which is why impeding its growth. For consumers, each of these speakers has its own unique usage applications. (GfK, Laoyaoba)

[IFA2017] Lenovo Home Assistant Pack dock adds Alexa to Lenovo Tab 4 tablet.  When docked, by sliding the tablet into a groove on the side of the speaker, the tablet screen becomes a status window for Alexa. The Home Assistant Pack costs USD69.99, and Tab 4 costs USD129.99. (Ars Technica, Android Authority, CNET, CN Beta)

[IFA2017] Harman Kardon Allure is launched with a 360º speaker with Amazon Alexa. It has 360º ambient lighting design glows from within.  Harman also launches JBL LINK series, the first voice-activated speakers to bring together JBL’s Signature Sound with the Google Assistant, available in three models, the LINK 10, LINK 20, and LINK 300. (Android Headlines, The Verge, CNET, Business WireCN Beta, Business Wire)

[IFA2017] Sony has joined the growing number of tech firms offering a smart speaker, model number LF-S50G. It offers 360º audio experience, employs Google Assistant, and priced at USD200. (Phone Arena, Sony, CNET, PR Newswire, Sohu)

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