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11-18: Android smartphone vendors are expected to equip 3D sensing functionality to their new models slated for 2018; Samsung has decided to strengthen its Galaxy J and Galaxy ON series in India; etc.

Chipsets

KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo believes that Apple’s 2018 iPhone will adopt Intel XMM 7560 and Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 modems, which support 4×4 MIMO technology with faster LTE transfer speed. He suggests that 70%~80% iPhones with improved baseband chips will come from Intel, and will power the 2018 iPhone. He also anticipates the new iPhone will support dual-SIM dual-standby (DSDS). (CN Beta, Jolt Journal, 9to5Mac)

Price of silicon wafer, which is one of raw materials for semiconductor, shot up by 20% compared to its price from 2016 and this is causing amount of supplies to not be able to keep up with increased demands.  (My Drivers, Sina, CN Beta, XCN News, ET News)

Touch Display

TCL Group announces that it intends to invest in Chenjiang Street, Zhongkai District, Huizhou City to construct a module production line that integrate intelligent manufacture base—CSOT next generation module project, with CNY9.6B investment.  (CN Beta, Sina, JRJ)

Apple is working on Micro LED but reportedly it has down-sized its team, which shows Micro LED technical challenges, especially in mid-to-small sized applications. To commercialize Micro LED, in addition to the difficulties with mid-to-small sized applications, its costs is not competitive with current products. Per unit inch size, its cost is relatively higher than OLED. Micro LED has more potential on the large-sized applications. (LED Inside, Laoyaoba)

Visionox has stated its flexible OLED “roadmap” as the company wants to start with curved panels, then move to foldable and finally to stretchable displays. (OLED-Info, JRJ, CE.com)

Taiwan’s ITRI (or more specifically its Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories or EOSRL) aim to establish a pilot line for Micro-LED displays that will start production in 3Q18.  EOSRL reveals that the pilot line is already able to handle 2500 (50×50) chips per transfer, and by the time it is ready it will be able to handle 100,000 chips (100×100). (OLED-Info, MicroLED-Info, LED Inside, LED Inside)

Camera

OmniVision Technologies has filed a lawsuit against SmartSens for patent infringement on 10 Nov 2017. This is the second time OmniVision has filed lawsuit in China since 17 Oct 2017. The company has required SmartSens to stop infringement its chipset related patents as well as to pay for the compensation. (Laoyaoba, EE World, EET China)

Memory

Part of new production of DRAM will be available in 2019. It expects in 2H18 the cost up trend will cease, and might have cost down pressure. According to Gartner, Samsung, SK Hynix, JHICC, Hefei Ruili increasing their production capacity causing some uncertainties in the future. In 2018 DRAM production growth is 11.8%, but it is lower than 67.8% in 2018. By 2019, new production increases, and will fall into cost battle, and annual production value will down 25.9%, and will be having 2 years of battle. (Laoyaoba, UDN, China Flash Market)

Sensory

ORBBEC is founded in Shenzhen in 2013. In 2015, the company launched its 3D depth camera Astra and Astra mini. Currently ORBBEC is the global 4th company that can mass produce commercialized 3D sensor, after Apple, Microsoft and Intel. ORBBEC’s 3D structured light camera can recognize 10 functions including human face and human bone structure. (XCN News, Laoyaoba, EEPW, China Times)

According to Digitimes, Android smartphone vendors including Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi are expected to equip 3D sensing functionality to their new models slated for launch in 2018, which also pinpointed suppliers including Largan Precision, Sunny Optical, ORBBEC and Himax Technologies as the major beneficiaries. (CN Beta, Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba, BGR)

Mizuho Securities analyst Abhey Lamba said the Apple iPhone X ramp remains subdued. iPhone X production estimates move lower by around 8M units for 2017 on the back of slower-than-anticipated yield improvement. In particular, the 3D-sensing module remains the bottleneck for the X, with yield improving on OLED panels, Lamba commented. (Laoyaoba, Barron’s, Street Insider)

Connectivity

EE has demonstrated its first fully-functioning end-to-end 5G network test. During the test, EE managed to achieve download speeds of 2.8Gbps. EE has partnered up with Huawei for its test.  (EE, Kit Guru, Huawei, Huawei, Sohu)

Smartphones

Samsung Electronics has decided to strengthen its Galaxy J and Galaxy ON series of mobile phones in the INR8,000~INR15,000 range with some aggressive model launches — both in configuration and pricing — to compete against Xiaomi. Samsung’s strategy is to tackle Xiaomi in markets where it is strong by offering a 2%~3% higher margin to retailers and increasing their credit period to 45 days from 30-35 days. (Huanqiu, Economic Times, Sina)

Samsung India division promotes Asim Warsi to Global VP and Dipesh Shah to Global Senior VP. Samsung’s next major investment amounts to INR4,915 crore (USD756M) that it is planning to commit to its product manufacturing plant in Noida. The goal of the expansion is to double the firm’s Android smartphone production in India. (Android Headlines, Hindu Business Line, Daily Pioneer)

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun indicates that in the coming years, Xiaomi is going to invest CNY23B in fully building new headquarter in Wuhan city, China. (My Drivers, Sohu)

360 Mobile chairman Li Kaixin reveals that in 2018 the company aims to achieve 50% growth, and in the coming few years the company aims to ship more than 10M units phone, becoming a company with annual revenues of more than billions CNY. (Laoyaoba, Sina, JRJ)

Coolpad announces that Jia Yueting has resigned as executive director​ and chairman of board. Liu Jiangfeng and Ablikim Ablimit have resigned too. (Epoch Times, Sohu, Reuters)

In the future Coolpad’s China strategy is to focus on operator’s customized sub-CNY1000 low-end contract phones. The company will only launch 1~2 models of more than CNY1000 phones. The company next step is to focus on foreign market. According to the current CEO Jiang Chao, the old Coolpad team has made great performance in US, achieving at least 60% of growth in 2017. (Laoyaoba)

Coolpad has opened its second exclusive experience zone plus service center in India for their customers in Hyderabad in India. Coolpad has collaborated with “MARS e-services” as a service partner for expanding its service network across the country.  (Economic Times, Gizbot, The Mobile India)

Panasonic P91 is unveiled in India –  5” HD display, MediaTek MT6737M processor, rear 8MP + front 5MP cameras, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 7.0, 2500mAh battery, INR6490. (Gizmo China, NDTV)

Wearables

The number of VR (virtual reality) applications available at HTC’s VR App store, Viveport, has reached over 1,100, including 800 supporting VR gaming arcades and over 300 supporting subscription services, according to HTC. Meanwhile, more than 27,000 software developers have joined the Viveport. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes)

Internet of Things

Apple is delaying the release of its first Siri-powered smart home speaker. The USD349 Apple HomePod will ship in early 2018 instead of in December, 2017 as originally promised. (Liliputing, Phone Arena, Reuters, Huanqiu, Sina)

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