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11-29: The collaboration between MediaTek and Apple is allegedly more likely; BOE is reportedly looking to supply its flexible OLEDs to Apple; etc.

Chipsets

The collaboration between MediaTek and Apple is allegedly more likely. Both parties collaboration will likely be modem, CDMA’s IP royalty, Wi-Fi customized ASIC and smart speaker HomePod chipsets, which might come fruitful in 2H18 at the earliest. In particular, IP royalty will bring highest profit, which will bring more revenues to MediaTek. (CN Beta, UDN)

MediaTek has announced a new chipset MT2621, SoC that is designed for smart trackers, wearables, IoT devices and for industrial use. It is a dual mode processor supporting NarrowBand IoT R14 radio technology as well as GSM/GPRS connectivity. It is a single-core ARM7 processor clocked at 260MHz with 160KB + 4MB of embedded storage.  (MediaTek, GSM Arena, Gizmo China, EE World, Laoyaoba, EET China)

Touch Display

BOE is reportedly looking to supply its flexible OLEDs to Apple. BOE has set a plan to use its B11 line, which is located in Sichuan, and B12 line that is currently in an investment process as production lines exclusively for Apple. BOE is investing some USD7.04B into a B11 line in Sichuan province, and finalizing investments for a B12 line likely to be built in the city of Chongqing. (Apple Insider, ET News, China FPD)

According to Yano Research Institute, AMOLED panel 2018 year world market forecasts to 635.5M pieces, 134.1% compared with 2017.  AMOLED Panel in 2022 The world market size is predicted to be 1,536.6M cards, more than three times more than in 2016. (TechNews, Sina, Money DJ, Silicon Investor)

Camera

Genius Electronic Optical is actively hiking yield rates for 2 lens modules – a 7MP one and a 3D sensing one – for front cameras of Apple iPhone X, which is likely to help improve its 4Q17 revenues, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press, Apple Insider, Money DJ)

Samsung’s 2018 flagship Galaxy S9 allegedly features a camera adjustable f/1.5 aperture. The Galaxy S9 will be single-lens, reserving dual-lens technology for the Galaxy S9 Plus. The secondary camera on that phone will be f/2.4. (CN Beta, Neowin, Vtechgraphy)

Biometrics

Huawei is working on its own structured light 3D sensor for the front. It will build a detailed model of your face with 300,000 points in 10 seconds. When used for unlocking, the system will trigger in 0.4 seconds (a fingerprint reader needs around 0.2s). It has an accessory made by Sunny Optical (internally dubbed Jupiter X). ​(Digital Trends, Engadget, MEMS, Sohu, Neowin)

According to Samsung’s patent for under-screen fingerprint scanner filed with WIPO, Samsung is sandwiching the fingerprint sensor between the cover glass and touch sensor. The pressure sensor is positioned on the bottom, underneath the display panel.  (GSM Arena, WIPO, Android Headlines, Sina)

Samsung Electronics is allegedly looking into receiving sensors, which are major parts of fingerprint recognition function, from a Taiwanese manufacturer while it is planning to place fingerprint recognition sensor on the back of Galaxy S9. This company had had experiences working with Samsung Electronics previously. However it mostly supplied its sensors for Samsung Electronics’ low and medium-priced Smartphones. (Laoyaoba, ET News)

At the Neural Information Processing Systems conference in Long Beach, California, Google researchers Hee Jung Ryu and Florian Schroff will present a project “electronic screen protector”, where a Google Pixel phone uses its front-facing camera and eye-detecting artificial intelligence to detect whether more than one person is looking at the screen. (Engadget, Quartz, iFeng, TechWeb)

Battery

Imperial College London and University of Cambridge have achieved a breakthrough in biophotovoltaics (BPV) by printing electronic circuits and bacteria at the same time. The biological solar panel produce electricity both day and night, unlike conventional photovoltaic cells that are entirely reliant on sunshine. (CN Beta, ZME Science, Deccan Chronicle, Brinkwire)

Connectivity

Some patents have emerged showing that Samsung may be thinking of changing the antenna placements on its smartphones going forward. The patents point to various placements for those components within the frame of the device itself.  (Android Headlines, Gizmo China, KIPRIS)

Smartphones

Efforts to increase manufacturing of Apple products in India have received support from the country’s Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, with the official claiming the Centre will support the company in setting up new lines, and is apparently awaiting a formal proposal. He said the Centre will support iPhone maker Apple to set up manufacturing unit in the country and is awaiting a formal proposal from them.  (Apple Insider, Economic Times, Huanqiu)

UBS analyst Steven Milunovich lowered his 2018 Apple iPhone unit sales growth forecast to 10% from 12%. UBS’ survey of 6,700 smartphone buyers in 5 countries showed “flattish” buying intentions compared with 2016, which hints at “more muted” unit growth than expected. Apple’s fiscal 2018, which started 1 Oct 2017, “likely is not a ‘supercycle’, but a solid year” for iPhone unit growth, Milunovich said. (CN Beta, CNBC, Business Insider)

Samsung has acquired Korean artificial intelligence startup Fluenty that has developed a machine learning-based chatbot that is highly likely to be used for upgrading its own AI assistant Bixby. In 2016, Samsung also acquired VivLabs, the US-based AI startup behind the earlier version of Apple’s AI assistant Siri. (Android Authority, The Investor, Leiphone, CN Beta)

OnePlus co-founders Pete Lau and Carl Pei proclaimed India “a very, very important market” for OnePlus. OnePlus concluded owners of the OnePlus 5 cared about improved low-light photography more than retaining the optical zoom capabilities of their handset, which in turn prompted they to scrap the telephoto lens found on its previous device in favor of another wide-angle one. (Android Headlines, NDTV)

Rosenblatt China Technology analyst, Jun Zhang believes that Apple iPhone X production increased to 3M units/week and could increase to 4M units/week in Dec 2017. He also believes that iPhone X sell through remained solid through Black Friday with 15M units sold so far including 6M iPhone X during the Black Friday season but demand for the 256GB model appears to be twice that of the 64GB model. (CN Beta, Phone Arena, Street Insider, TechCrunch)

Mobile connectivity firm, iPass, surveyed more than 1,700 people in the US and Europe about their connectivity habits, preferences and expectations. The survey revealed some of the most inappropriate situations in which people have felt the need to check their phone – during sex (7%), on the toilet (72%) and even during a funeral (11%). (CN Beta, Daily Mail, iPass)

Huwei Honor V10 is launched in China – 5.99” 2160×1080 FHD+ 2.5D curved display, Huawei Kirin 970 processor with a dedicated AI chip, rear dual 16MP-20MP + front 13MP cameras, 4 / 6GB RAM, 64 / 128GB storage, Android 8.0, 6.97mm thick, front fingerprint scanner, 3750mAh battery, from CNY2699. (Vmall, Android Central, Android Central, GizChina)

360 N6 Pro is official in China – 5.99” 2160×1080 FHD+ display (84.5% screen ratio), Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, rear dual 16MP-2MP + front 8MP cameras, 4 / 6GB RAM, 64 / 128GB storage, rear fingerprint scanner, rear cover NCVM, 4050mAh battery, from CNY1699.  (Gizmo China, iMobile)

Wearables

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimates that shipments of Apple AirPods will rise around 100% YoY to 26M~28M units in 2018. He notes that the shipping time of the product on Apple’s official shopping website has shortened to 1-3 days, mainly thanks to an improved assembly process and increased capacity from Luxshare-ICT as the new assembler (the previous sole supplier being Inventec). (CN Beta, UDN, Laoyaoba, Street Insider)

PC / Tablet

According to CMR, in 3Q17 0.94M tablets were shipped in India, recording 38% growth over the previous quarter. However, tablet PC market recorded 4% YoY decline. Lenovo contributed 20.3% market share in the overall tablet market and witnessed 94% growth in 3Q17 when compared to 2Q17 in terms of unit shipments.  (NDTV, CMR India, press, CN Beta)

Internet of Things

Baidu and Xiaomi have announced that they have formed a strategic partnership under which both the companies will work together for developing technologies in the domain of IoT and AI. Both the companies said that will immediately explore opportunities in voice recognition, deep learning and computer vision, in addition to more work with DuerOS. (Gizmo China, CN Beta, TechCrunch, Sohu, Sina)

As of the end of 2017, Xiaomi’s IoT platform has over 85M connected devices, over 10M daily active devices, over 800 types of devices and over 400 partners. Xiaomi officially announces the IoT Developer Program. (CN Beta, GizChina, AWTMT, Huanqiu)

NXP has formally established a strategic partnership with Alibaba Cloud Link, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group. They will launch a comprehensive and multi-dimensional cooperation around IoT applications based on the existing cooperation foundation to jointly provide security for the Internet of Things. (Laoyaoba, JRJ, HQEW)

Softbank is reportedly planning to make an offer to purchase Uber shares at a 30% discount. Its offer will be based on a valuation of USD48B, which is a 30% discount to Uber’s most recent valuation of USD68.5B. (Ubergizmo, TechCrunch, WSJ, Sohu, Leiphone)

Uber has partnered with Vietnam-based payments startup Momo to enable cashless transactions on the Uber app. Starting today, the ride-hailer says 30% of Android users of its app in Vietnam can pay for their rides using Momo’s digital wallet. (CN Beta, Tech in Asia)

President and Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn described Samsung’s current USD5B share of revenue from the car industry as modest, but he believes cars offer one of the best long-term growth opportunities. Samsung makes USD200B in revenue but he is hoping over time that this portion will increase and we will hit USD20B by 2025. (Laoyaoba, Auto News)

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