10-19: Samsung has announced a formal partnership with Google to bring the ARCore framework to its lineup of smartphones long-term; Apple is allegedly developing a lower-cost version of the iPhone X; etc.

Chipsets

The annual revenue from the global IC testing and packaging industry for 2017 is estimated to grow by 2.2% to reach USD51.73B, according to TrendForce. Furthermore, providers of outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) are projected to represent a share of 52.5% in the year’s total revenue. (TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn])

Touch Display

As the development of smartphone-use panels, Taiwan’s top-3 TFT LCD panel makers all have been focusing on all-screen displays with an 18:9 aspect ratio recently. The new 6G LTPS fabs of AU Optronics (AUO) and Innolux in Taiwan have entered volume production recently, and a new 6G line of Chunghua Picture Tubes (CPT) in China is expected to come online shortly. CPT’s 6G line also plans to develop IGZO panels later. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba, Digitimes, Digitimes, China Times)

Since 2Q17 the costs of 5.5” HD panel are reversed— “indirect cost” of rigid OLED is higher than LTPS LCD, but it saves the BLU and other materials, with its yield rate improving, its actual cost is lower than LTPS LCD. IHS expects when AMOLED yield rate is higher than 80%, its costs would be lower than LCD, thus LCD’s advantage of its cost is disappearing. IHS forecasts that by 2021 AMOLED will continue to grow with 22% CAGR, and its production value will exceed USD40B, 53% penetration. (Caixin, JRJ, Laoyaoba)

Oxide panel is the main product of Sharp, subsidy of Foxconn. According to IHS, global large-size oxide panel shipment would reach 51M units in 2017, which is 2-fold increase of 2016, which is 17M units. (Laoyaoba, CECB2B, CNABC)

Smartphones

Samsung has announced Bixby 2.0 voice assistant. According to Samsung, Bixby 2.0 is a “fundamental leap forward for digital assistants” and a “bold reinvention of the platform”, designed with the aim of making Bixby available on “any and all devices”.  (CN Beta, The Verge, Business Insider, Mac Rumors, Samsung)

Apple is allegedly developing a lower-cost version of the iPhone X, internally code-named Hangzhou. Apple will reportedly introduce the cheaper iPhone X variant at the beginning of 2018 in hopes of squeezing out a profit from Chinese consumers interested in mid-level and high-end smartphones. (CN Beta, UDN, LTN, Yicai Global)

A supply-chain source in Taiwan claims that Apple has reduced orders for both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus by around 50% for Nov / Dec 2017—iPhone 8 from 10M~12M decreases to 5M~6M. The supply chain claims this is the first time in the iPhone’s history that production has been cut so early in the cycle. (Wall Street CN, Bloomberg, 9to5Mac, UDN, Reuters)

Worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones are predicted to exceed 2.35B units in 2018, an increase of 2.0% from 2017, according to Gartner. This would be the highest YoY growth since 2015. Mobile phone sales are expected to return to YoY growth in 2018, with shipments totaling 1.9B units. Smartphones will represent 86% of total mobile phone shipments in 2018, up 6% from 2017.Gartner expects Apple iPhone X to be the sales driver in North America, China and Western Europe, despite its high price. (CN Beta, 9to5Mac, Gartner, press, CN Beta)

Nokia 7 is announced in China – 5.2” FHD IPS LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, rear 16MP (1.12µm) Carl Zeiss + front 5MP (1.4µm) cameras supporting Dual-Sight, 4GB RAM, 64 / 128GB storage, Android 7.1, 3000mAh battery, from CNY2499. (Android Authority, CN Beta, The Verge, Indian Express)

Sharp Aquos R Compact is announced – 4.9” FHD+ 2032×1080 IGZO display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, rear 16.4MP PDAF + front 8MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 8.0, IP68 rating, USB-C, 2500mAh battery. (CN Beta, Gizmo China, Android Community)

Wearables

Samsung has announced a formal partnership with Google to bring the ARCore framework to its lineup of smartphones long-term. The platform focuses on three things: motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation, and drops the requirement of specialized hardware. (Android Authority, The Verge, Pocket-Lint, Google)

Samsung is showing off a new Samsung Round 360 video camera for virtual reality. It can capture 4K video in 360º, allowing a viewer to see everywhere at once in either a livestream or recorded video. It has 17 camera lenses, and it will be available in 4Q17.  (VentureBeat, Samsung)

Global shipments of AR/VR head-mounted display (HMD) devices, including standalone models, are expected to grow by a CAGR of 41.6% during 2017~2022, Digitimes Research estimates. While sales of more advanced AR/VR devices are key to whether the market scale can further expand, standalone VR HMD devices are expected to serve as a growth driver for the industry in 2018-2019. In the long term, Digitimes believes, Apple is likely to lead the market with its forthcoming AR HMD devices. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes, UDN)

Internet of Things

Samsung has announced that it is simplifying its Internet of Things platform. Currently, Samsung supports SmartThings, Samsung Connect, and ARTIK platforms to help devices communicate. Those standards will all combine into the new platform called SmartThings Cloud. (Android Authority, The Verge, Samsung)

Xiaomi launches Loock Classic Intelligent Fingerprint Door Lock priced at CNY1699. The Fingerprint Door Lock can achieve four different types of unlocking procedures using the fingerprint, mobile phone app connected via Bluetooth, password and a physical key.  (Gizmo China, CC Time, CNMO)

Peggy Johnson, Microsoft’s executive VP of business development, indicates that the company has a big focus on AI. The firm has made about 18 AI technology acquisitions over the past few years and has about 8,000 staff focused on that area following a reorganization in 2016. (Laoyaoba, WSJ, TechCrunch, Seeking Alpha)

Baidu chief executive Robin Li reveals that the Chinese internet giant will have a self-driving bus on the road in 2018 as it races for a lead in autonomous vehicles. (Daily Mail, Engadget, Laoyaoba, Mashable)

Advertisements