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11-27: Gionee indicates 2nd generation full display next year will be similar to of Apple iPhone X with notch; Meitu admits that Meitu phone users are not sensitive to the price; etc.

Chipsets

Nvidia have announced a partnership with Nuance and GE Healthcare aiming at helping healthcare institutions tap into artificial intelligence. The Nuance AI Marketplace for Diagnostic Imaging is designed to provide a hub for medical professionals to pick up new tools for analyzing the results of x-ray imaging and other radiology tools. (VentureBeat, Nvidia)

Qualcomm has suspended its collaboration with Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) on the development of 5G technology. The decision came in the wake of a NTD23.4B (USD774M) fine imposed on Qualcomm by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) for violation of the region’s antitrust regulations. (LTN, Laoyaoba, Focus Taiwan)

Touch Display

Japanese LCD display maker Japan Display announced in Oct 2017 that it will boost its automotive panel sales by 60% to around JPY150B (USD1.32B) over the next 3 years. The company wants to remain a market leader. There are two types of automotive panels — general-purpose panels and custom-made panels. General-purpose panels sell in high volumes, but prices have settled.  (TechNews, Asia Nikkei)

Gionee group president and chairman Liu Lirong indicates that currently all full display products are still at 1st generation, and in 2018 2nd generation will be similar to of Apple iPhone X with notch. He also reveals that Gionee has readjusted their overseas strategy, focusing on Gionee brand and will not be an ODM. (Laoyaoba, Sina)

Biometrics

State University of Florida in Tallahassee’s VoiceGesture can detect live users and whether or not people are misusing recordings for ‘replay attacks’. The detection system requires only a speaker and a microphone that are commonly available on smartphones. It works by using the smartphone as a Doppler radar, which transmits a high frequency sound from the built-in speaker and listens to the reflections at the microphone when a user speaks their passphrase. (CN Beta, TechXplore, Daily Mail, New Scientist)

Memory

A so-called memory chip “super-cycle” of increased prices due to demand for more firepower in servers and smartphones was the major driver of Samsung’s record 3Q17 profit of KRW14.5T (USD12.91B), with investors focussed on how long it will last. Morgan Stanley sees downside risk as NAND prices have started to reverse in 4Q17. Meanwhile, visibility on DRAM supply-demand dynamics has reduced beyond 1Q18. (HQEW, Laoyaoba, Business Insider, AA Stocks)

Battery

Google is introducing a new feature which is already rolling out to Pixel smartphones. “Smart battery” is designed to give users better estimates on what to expect from their battery through the day. Pixel devices will learn from usage habits how to best estimate battery life. An “on-device model” evaluates battery usage habits day by day to better predict how the phone is being usedand how the battery will be used up. (TechNews, Leiphone, Android Central, 9to5Google)

Samsung Electronics’ research arm has successfully synthesized a “graphene ball” that can be used to make lithium-ion batteries last longer and charge faster, the company has said. Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) said using graphene ball material to make batteries will increase their capacity by 45% and increase their charging speed by 5 times. (My Drivers, Yonhap News, ZDNet)

Smartphones

According to details in the recent “Paradise Papers” document leak, corporate entities Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun controls are linked to those controlled by Bitmain founders Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan. However, Bitmain denies there is any business connection. (Android Headlines, Quartz, Bits Online, Sohu)

Apple will ramp its original content spend to USD4.2B by 2022 as part of an effort to expand a rebranded Apple Music, according to a projection from Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster. But Apple will not catch up to either by 2022 in terms of spend, projecting that Amazon will eclipse Netflix, USD8.3B to USD6.8B. (Laoyaoba, Variety, Deadline)

Meitu mobile SVP Yi Wei indicates that many domestic vendors are riding the wave of premium prices. So, by using such trend, the use of its own advantages to provide users with a better product is commensurating with the price. Meitu company founder and CEO Wu Xinhong is also quite confident, and he admit that Meitu phone users are not sensitive to the price. (CC Stock, Tencent, Sina)

Samsung has inked a deal with the UK’s emergency services to provide smartphones to 250,000 police, paramedics and fire crews in a contract worth the equivalent of USD367M. These smartphones will offer both hardware and software features that will support emergency services functions and critical voice services, according to Samsung, including a “push to talk” button. (CN Beta, ZDNet, Android Headlines, Business Korea, Channel News)

Gionee S11 / S11s with 4 cameras are launched in China: S11 – 6.01” FHD+ AMOLED display, MediaTek Helio P30 processor, rear dual 16MP-8MP + front dual 20MP-8MP cameras, 6GB RAM, 64GB storage, rear fingerprint scanner, 3600mAh battery, CNY3,299. S11s – 5.99” FHD+ display, MediaTek Helio P23 processor, rear dual 16MP-5MP + front dual 16MP-8MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, rear fingerprint scanner, 3410mAh battery, CNY1,799. (My Drivers, My Drivers, Gizmo China, NDTV)

Gionee entry F6, F205 with full display launched in China: F6 – 5.7” HD+ display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 8MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 2970mAh battery, CNY1299. F205 – 5.45” HD+ display, MediaTek MT6739 processor, 8MP + 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 2670mAh battery, CNY999. (NDTV, GSM Arena, Indian Express, India Today)

Gionee M7 Plus, M7 mini with full display launched in China: M7 Plus – 6.43” FHD+ AMOLED display (86% screen ratio), Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, rear dual 16MP-8MP + front 8MP cameras, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, “dual security encryption chip”, 5000mAh battery, CNY4,399. M7 mini – 5.5” HD+ display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, rear 8MP + front 8MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, 4000mAh battery, CNY1,399. (NDTV, GSM Arena, Indian Express, India Today)

Wearables

Hardware is quickly becoming a means to an end to data as Fitbit pivots to better embed itself into the healthcare food chain. Fitbit CEO James Park indicates that devices enable data collection, provide a point of interaction, while software and data drives engagement and can be leveraged to provide personalized insight. To that end, Fitbit is one of 9 companies in an FDA program designed to fast track digital therapeutics and health apps.  (Laoyaoba, Seeking Alpha, ZDNet)

Virtual reality (VR) headset shipments are showing no signs of slowing, as the quarterly total exceeded 1M units for the first time in 3Q17. Sony took the lead, shipping more than 490K PlayStation VR (PS VR) sets. It was followed by Oculus, which shipped 210K of its Rift headsets. HTC took third place, shipping 160K Vive VR units. (VentureBeat, Canalys, press, Yivian)

Internet of Things

Singapore has announced that it would see self-driving buses and shuttles transporting citizens and tourists alike by 2022, with the Punggol, Tengah, and Jurong Innovation District slated as the first three areas to receive the technology.  (Digital Trends, Singapore Gov, Huanqiu, Nanyang Post)

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