10-24: Hon Hai is reportedly to exert all-out efforts to help Sharp expand its presence in the handset market; Huawei also wants to make low-end devices; etc.

Chipsets

Alibaba will launch its first smart speaker in mid-Nov 2017, and it will adopt MediaTek’s ASIC chipset. Additionally, Alibaba’s subsidy cloud company Aliyun is planning AI products, which will be using MediaTek ASIC network chipsets as well. (Laoyaoba, Sina, China Times)

Samsung Electronics has reportedly made a significant investment in DeePhi Tech, a Tsinghua-based startup with deep learning technologies. It is the second investment Samsung has made in foreign AI tech startups following a USD30M investment in the UK-based Graphcore in Oct 2016. (CN Beta, The Straits Times, Korea Herald)

According to executive director of Strategy Analytics, Stuart Robinson, MediaTek’s weak portfolio coupled with increased competition from Qualcomm contributed to its share losses in 1H17. Qualcomm maintained its smartphone application processor revenue share leadership at 42%, followed by Apple and MediaTek with 18% each.  As a whole, the global smartphone application processor market declined by 5% YoY, to stand at USD9.4B. (Mobile World Live, TechNews, LTN, Money DJ)

Apple’s COO Jeff Williams has credited Morris Chang for TSMC’s “huge” capital investment to ramp up faster than the pace the industry was used to at the time. Apple decided to have 100% of its new iPhone and new iPad chips for application processors sourced at TSMC, and TSMC invested USD9B to bring up its Tainan fab in a record 11 months. (Reuters, Apple Insider, Sina, Feng)

Qualcomm has showcased a 5G handset reference design, which it will use to test 5G modems, radios, and networks with smartphone makers over the next 1~2 years as they prepare to release 5G-compatible smartphones in 1H19. Considering WingTech’s close relationship with Qualcomm, it is believed that WingTech will receive Qualcomm’s first batch of 5G orders. (52RD, Caijing, Sina, The Verge, Digital Trends)

It is rumored that as both parties have different thoughts on SoC adoption, MediaTek’s orders from Samsung in 2016 might be affected. In 2018 MediaTek’s orders of Samsung is decreased, or perhaps go to zero. MediaTek reveals that actually in 2018 they still have orders from Samsung. (UDN, Laoyaoba)

MediaTek Helio P40 will reportedly be the company’s savior chip in 2018.  This is because of its pricing which is between USD11~12. It will take on Qualcomm’s own equivalent chip currently called the Snapdragon 660 Lite which will cost about USD15. Due to the lesser price of the Helio P40, MediaTek will be able to grab a higher market share and increase its shipment from 15% this year to 25% in 2018. (Laoyaoba, China Times, Android Headlines, Gizmo China)

Touch Display

Touch panel vendors are entering automotive application market. TPK-KY is winning orders from Tesla, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, its 2017 shipment has increased drastically. GIS-KY is working with Giant Plus expanding automotive panel market, and hoping to enter supply chain of Japanese automotive vendors. (China Times, Laoyaoba)

Memory

Thanks to smartphone peak season is coming, mobile DRAM demand is increasing. The cost is expected to increase 10%~15% in 4Q17, which will also bring along the cost up on MCP. Additionally, panel makers such as BOE have started mass production of OLED panels, which will increase demand on NOR Flash. Elite Semiconductor Memory Technology (ESMT) is enjoying the benefit thanks to mobile DRAM and NOR Flash shipment, in Sept 2017 its revenues have shown apparent increase, and in 4Q17 its revenues iare expected to increase further. (Laoyaoba, China Times)

Biometrics

Samsung’s  patent, filed with South Korean trademarking company Kipris, refers to a small depression in the screen, or perhaps even a notch, that would house a fingerprint scanner. This would allow Samsung to continue offering an almost bezel-free display, while having a fingerprint scanner at the front. (Laoyaoba, GSM Arena, Galaxy Club, Pocket-Lint, Huanqiu)

Battery

A patent application suggests that Samsung is working on its own version of Apple’s AirPower wireless charging system. According to the patent application, the Samsung wireless charging system will have coils that will support inductive and resonant modes for reliability.  (CN Beta, 9to5Mac, Value Walk, Patently Apple)

Toshiba announced that its next-generation SCiB lithium-ion uses an anode material made from titanium niobium oxide. Toshiba claims its cells can offer double the lithium storage capacity over modern lithium-ion batteries. The prototype version of these 50 amp-hour cells can be recharged in as little as 6 minutes.  (CN Beta, CNET)

Connectivity

Telefónica Deutschland is to deploy a “5G ready” antenna aimed at overcoming space limitations while delivering next generation cellular services. The German operator is working with Huawei on a jointly developed solution, which features an integrated 14-port multi-band antenna and TDD 3.5GHz Massive MIMO antenna, that it said would help pave the way towards rolling out 5G. (Android Headlines, Telecoms, Mobile Europe, C114)

SK Telecom has developed a new Wi-Fi technology that can achieve speeds up to 4.8Gbps, but also demonstrating that technology at its R&D center in the Bundang region of Seoul, South Korea. This technology is about 4 times faster than “Giga Wi-Fi  (1.3Gbps based on the 802.11ac method)” which is widely used by smartphones. (Android Headlines, Telecom Lead, Business Korea, Digitimes)

Smartphones

Investment firm UBS partnered with 451 Research to poll 3,840 consumers about their buying intentions over the next 90 days. The survey found that iPhone purchase interest is at its highest level since it reached 71% when the iPhone 6 lineup debuted in 2014. For the iPhone X specifically, 43% of iPhone buyers said they plan to buy the new flagship model, with a starting price of USD999. (Apple Insider, Benzinga, IT Home)

According to Digitimes, shipments of Apple iPhone X from Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision) will reach around 2M~3M units before Apple begins to deliver the model on 3 Nov 2017. Citing data from Taipei-based KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, Foxconn will manage to ship 25M~30M iPhone X in 4Q17, down from the previous forecast of 30M~35M units. (GizChina, CN Beta, Sohu, Digitimes, press)

Apple iPhone 8 / 8 Plus accounted for a collective 16% of total U.S. iPhone sales during 3Q17, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP). While the devices were able to achieve that in just a couple of weeks on store shelves, their share of sales is far behind the iPhone 7 a/ 7 Plus, which accounted for 43% of sales when they went on sale in Sept 2017. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Patently Apple, Fortune, CIRP press)

Apple’s COO Jeff Williams sees its mobile devices as a major platform for artificial intelligence (AI) in the future. Williams said technological innovations, especially involving the cloud and on-device processing, will improve life without sacrificing privacy or security. (Phone Arena, Reuters, Kaixian)

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei indicates that there is about 90% of the global population is from poor family, and thus do not look down on them. Huawei also wants to make low-end devices.  (Sina, 163, Laoyaoba)

Huawei revealed that its mobile phone shipments have reached 112M units, up 19% year-on-year, in the first 3 quarters of 2017. The growth raised the operating revenue by more than 30% Jan~Sept 2017. (Android Authority, China Daily, 163, Xinhuanet)

Google might release 3 new Pixel smartphones in 2018—codenamed Crosshatch, Albacore, and Blueline. (Gizmo China, 9to5Google, CN Beta)

Foxconn Group (Hon Hai) is reportedly to exert all-out efforts to help Sharp expand its presence in the handset market, aiming to position the Japan-based brand among the top-5 players globally. (Digitimes, press, JRJ, UDN)

PCs / Tablets

Lenovo India Executive Director Business and E-commerce Rajesh Thadani indicates that the company is looking at 20% growth year on year. The aim is to be number 1 brand from number 3. In PCs and tablets Lenovo wants to get to the number 1 position in India in the next 2 years time. (My Drivers, Economic Times)

Wearables

Snap has allegedly badly overestimated demand for its Spectacles and now has hundreds of thousands of unsold units sitting in warehouses, either fully assembled or in parts. The disclosure undercuts Snap CEO Evan Spiegel’s recent contention that Spectacles sales of more than 150,000 had topped the company’s expectations. (CN Beta, The Verge, The Information, Android Police, Variety)

Internet of Things

Tesla is talking with the Shanghai municipal government to set up a factory in the region and expects to agree on a plan by the end of 2017. China levies a 25% duty on sales of imported vehicles and has not allowed foreign automakers to establish wholly owned factories in the country, the world’s largest auto market. (Engadget, Reuters, WSJ, WSJ CN)

According to China Household Electrical Appliances Association (CHEAA), China smart toilet market size reached 3.1M units in 2016, with annual growth of 59%. China smart toilet market size is sustained at 5M~6M units, with penetration rate of 1%. Even at the tier 1 cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzou and Shenzhen), the penetration is only about 10%. (CHEAA, CN Beta)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.