12-28: Huawei plans to release its Mate 10 smartphone on AT&T in early Feb 2018; MediaTek will focus on further improving its market share, gross margin and overall earnings in 2018; etc.


China has sold over 50M domestically manufactured chips connected to the BeiDou navigation and positioning system in the past 5 years. The chips have been downsized to their smallest size at 28nm, down from the previous 0.35µm, and the cheapest are priced at only CNY6 (USD0.9) each, said Ran Chengqi, a BeiDou spokesperson. (CN Beta, Huanqiu, Global Times, Xinhuanet, China Daily)

Qualcomm is allegedly working on a new chip for mid-range phones in 2018, the Snapdragon 670, that will high-resolution Quad HD displays and dual cameras on phones that is with “affordable price”.  (Phone Arena, Twitter, Sina, iFeng, 36Kr)

MediaTek will focus on further improving its market share, gross margin and overall earnings in 2018 through continued investments in new technologies, including AI, 5G, NB-IoT, 802.11ax and automotive electronics, according to company co-CEO Rick Tsai. (My Drivers, TechNews, Apple Daily, CTEE, Sogi, Taipei Times, Gizmo China, ePrice, Digitimes, press)

Touch Display

IEK analyst Lin Zemin has pointed out that OLED peripheral components is the largest business opportunity for Taiwan. Taiwan’s IC driver Novatek Microelectronics and Himax Technologies; IC packaging and testing Chipbond Technology  are doing well. However, as Samsung is monopolizing OLED supply chain, the companies can only target LG Display, Sharp and Chinese companies such as BOE, Tianma, and CSOT. (Laoyaoba, Wealth, EE World, 52RD)


China’s economic regulator is paying close attention to a recent surge in the price of mobile phone storage chips and could look into possible price fixing by the firms that make them. The NDRC was alerted to the situation after a sharp rise in the price of chips over the last 18 months. The NDRC has spoken to Samsung, citing Wang Yanhui, the secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance. (Reuters, Laoyaoba, China Daily, China Daily)

Recent NOR Flash prices loose on the supply side, SMIC has recently come up with a monthly production capacity of 10,000 units to GigaDevice for producing NOR Flash. Additionally, Wuhan Xinxin Integration Dianlu Manufacture (XMC) has shifted some production for GigaDevice as the NAND Flash mass production schedule is delayed. This has increase GigaDevice increase in production that could cause the market cost. (Laoyaoba, TechNews, HQEW)


Apple is still developing a non-invasive glucose reader, but the technology might not show up in an Apple Watch for several years. (Apple Insider, NY Times)


Xiaomi is allegedly not so keen on introducing the advanced fingerprint scanning technology as it will be introducing 3D facial recognition feature on its future phones. Xiaomi is reportedly working with Qualcomm, Himax Technologies and Truly Opt-Electronics to begin the mass production of 3D facial scanning technology by 1Q18.  (Gizmo China, OfWeek, 52RD)

Led by Dr. Shivam Bhasin, the research team “trained” the system by getting 3 people to each enter a random set of 70 four-digit PINs on Android smartphones. On each phone a custom app was installed, that collected data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, proximity sensor, barometer, and ambient light sensor. A deep learning algorithm analyzed the data, matching up specific sensor readings with specific numbers being pressed on the onscreen keypad. When the system was subsequently tasked with guessing four-digit PINs based only on the sensor reactions, it was 99.5% accurate (within no more than 3 tries) at unlocking a phone that used one of the 50 most common PINs.  (CN Beta, New Atlas, The Sentinel, Cryptology ePrint Advice)


The WattUp Mid Field transmitter, developed by Energous, is a power-at-a-distance wireless system that can charge devices up to around 3ft away. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved this wireless system. (Android Authority, Ernegous, Engadget, CN Beta)

University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, claims to have solve the issue of Li-metal batteries is the quick degradation due to dendrites forming in the cells by “adding a chemical compound made of phosphorus and sulfur elements to the electrolyte liquid that carries electrical charge within batteries.” This has potential to triple the energy density of electric cars in coming years. (Hybrid Cars, Laoyaoba, TechNews, Electrek)

Powercast will be demonstrating its far-field technology, capable of charging multiple devices up to 80ft away. The 3W transmitter uses the 915 MHz ISM band to send to a Powercast receiver chip in a device, which converts the transmission to DC to “directly power or recharge” an enabled device at up to 80 feet for devices with low power needs. (CN Beta, Apple Insider)


Ericsson has announced raising almost USD400M for 5G research after signaling accelerated deployments, including USD220M from the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and USD150M from AB Svensk Exportkredit. (Android Headlines, ZDNet, Fierce Wireless, CC Time)


According to supply chain, Apple will allegedly slash its sales forecast for the iPhone X in 1Q18 to 30M units, down from what it said was an initial plan of 50M units. (Bloomberg, Apple Insider, LTN, UDN, Epoch Time, China Times, The Sun, Reuters)

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) analyzes the first 30 days of Apple iPhone X sales, showing that the device accounted for roughly 30% of total iPhone sales. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus combined counted for around 40% of sales, with the former coming in at around 23% and the latter around 17%. (9to5Mac, TechRadar, CN Beta)

Apple had a very good 2017 holiday season, once again holding the top place in smartphone and tablet activations, though it remained at 44% of total activations in both 2016 and 2017, according to Flurry Analytics. By comparison, rival Samsung gained 5% points over the same time period, jumping from 21% to 26%. (VentureBeat, Flurry, press, CN Beta)

Apple reportedly has not contacted its Chinese suppliers about lower production volumes declining the rumor of Apple plans a 40% cut in 1Q18 iPhone orders. Two suppliers, Lens Technology and Suzhou Anjie Technology indicate that they had received no such notice. Lens Technology board secretary Peng Mengwu has revealed that the original target orders for touch screen glass are 30M~35M units. (My Drivers, Laoyaoba, STCN, Yicai)

A leaked roadmap shows all of Huawei’s supposed product releases for 2018. If the roadmap is accurate, expect at least 13 Huawei and Honor smartphones. (Android Headlines, Android Authority, Gadgety, Huanqiu, Sohu, Caijing, Sina)

Apple iPhone SE (32GB) is available for as low as INR17,999 on Amazon India, down from INR26,000. The e-commerce website is also offering up to INR15,000 off en exchange. It is important to note that price-cut is not official and the phone is listed for INR26,000 on Apple India website. (My Drivers, Indian Express, India Today, Digit, TechNews, Sohu, CN Beta)

According to Counterpoint Research, Apple captured nearly 60% of the total profits generated in mobile handset segment followed by Samsung in 3Q17. Apple’s profit share declined by 30% YoY mainly due to increased mix of previous generation iPhones. Samsung has made a strong come back in 3Q17 with its Note 8 series. Huawei has witnessed highest profit growth of 67% YoY in 3Q17 due to its portfolio expansion across price bands. (Counterpoint Research, press, My Drivers, Laoyaoba)

Teng Hongfei, the executive in question, is in trouble with law enforcement over “suspicions of taking bribes,” though Huawei did not provide more specifics. (Bloomberg, Android Authority, Sohu)

Huawei plans to release its Mate 10 smartphone on AT&T in early Feb 2018. Huawei is planning a USD100M advertising push to build brand awareness in the US. In the past Huawei has offered smartphones in the US through retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. (The Information, CN Beta, The Verge, ZDNet, Android Central)

Huawei consumer electronics head Richard Yu has reportedly declared in company-only messages that some of Huawei’s software EMUI decisions were “stupid”. It has been related to the inconsistency of EMUI’s behavior, with some of his other complaints reportedly pertaining to the firmware’s tendency to not highlight its unique features, i.e. selling points.  (The Information, Engadget, Android Authority, Android Headlines)

Google is reportedly preparing to open brick-and-mortar stores in India to shore up sales of its Pixel smartphones in India. Google will use the stores to sell other products as well. (Android Authority, Economic Times, 163, iFeng, Sina)

OPPO has now opened its first flagship offline store in Shanghai, China. With this OPPO Store, the company is aiming to create a conversation between the brand and its customers. (Gizmo China, Sohu, Sina)


Pico Technology, the China-based VR headset manufacturer, today unveiled their latest Pico Neo VR headset, a standalone device powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor that offers 6DoF positional tracking and 6DoF motion controllers. Other specs: dual 1440×1600 90Hz AMOLED, 4GB RAM, priced at CNY5999. (Android Headlines, Road to VR, iFeng, OfWeek, Yesky)

Garmin Vivofit 4 is announced retaining the year-long battery life of the Vivofit lineup while simultaneously introducing a number of new features, including an always-on color display. It is priced at USD79.99. (Android Central, Android Headlines, iFeng)

When eMarketer made its wearables predictions in Oct 2015, it estimated that use of such devices would grow more than 60% among US adults in 2016. But it grew by only 24.7%.  According to eMarketer, nearly 50 million US adults use some sort of wearable device each month, which translates to about 20% of the population. For comparison, 77% of US adults use a smartphone. (CN Beta, eMarketer)

According to senior IDC analyst Lewis Ward, Sony Playstation 4 could hit 100M total global sales by 2019, tacking on 29.4M units in about 2 years time. He also thinks PS5 and the next-gen Xbox will arrive in 2021. However, Macquarie Capital analyst Damien Thong predicts Sony will release a new PlayStation model by 2018, which would align the console with the FY2018 timeline.  (My Drivers, Tweak Town, Gaming Bolt)

Internet of Things

The LG Economic Research Institute has cited artificial intelligence (AI) and level 4 autonomous driving technologies among the top 10 major technologies that will prevail the information communications technology industry in 2018 under the 4 biggest trends: hyper-intelligence, hyper-automation, hyper-connection, and hyper-convergence.  (Korea Herald, CN Beta)

LG is partnering with HERE Technologies, a global provider of digital mapping and location services, to offer a next-generation telematics solution for autonomous vehicles. The solution combines LG’s advanced telematics technology with high-precision map data and location services powered by the HERE Open Location Platform.  (TechCrunch, ZDNet, Globe Newswire, Donga, Sina, 163)

KeyBanc Capital Markets estimates Tesla will announce delivery of about 5,000 Model 3s in 4Q17, below the sell-side estimate but likely acceptable for the buyside. In 3q17, Tesla delivered 26,150 total vehicles, but just 220 Model 3 cars. Wall Street analysts had expected overall production of 25,860, with 1,260 Model 3s. (CN Beta, CNBC, Reuters, Benzinga)

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