01-20: Coolpad said it has received fresh investment of USD300M to expand its AI capabilities; Sony will continue to stay in smartphone business; etc.

Chipsets

EU antitrust regulators have approved U.S. smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm’s planned USD38B acquisition of NXP Semiconductors subject to a series of commitments Qualcomm has made. (CN Beta, Android Headlines, Reuters, WSJ)

Qualcomm is growing their business to attack the USD150B serviceable addressable market by 2020 and how their non-mobile investments generated $3B last year at a 75% growth clip over 2 years.  The idea that Qualcomm’s dependence on Apple is waning is due to the progress Qualcomm has created with Chinese OEMs. (CN Beta, Forbes, Forbes, Seeking Alpha)

MediaTek is expected to gain more market share from China’s top 4 vendors in 2018 with its Helio P23 and P40 SoC, from 5%~15% in 2017 increase to 20%~40% in 2018. The overall mobile SoC shipment in 2018 could reach 474M units, a 16% increase on year. (Laoyaoba, HQEW, China Times, UDN)

Meizu SVP Jeffery Yang has stated that Meizu is still in business with MediaTek and the company’s choice of processor for a particular device depends on the need and popularity of the chipset. (GizChina, Sina, iFeng)

Sales of analog ICs are expected to show the strongest growth rate among major integrated circuit market categories during the next 5 years, according to IC Insights. IC Insights forecasts that revenues for analog products—including both general purpose and application-specific devices—will increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6% to USD74.8B in 2022 from USD54.5B in 2017. (EE Times, IC Insights, press, EEPW)

Touch Display

Samsung will launch a new TV model that uses LCD panels made by its archrival LG Display (LGD). LG began supplying 65” and 75” panels to Samsung in Dec 2017, marking a rare partnership between the two South Korean tech giants. (CN Beta, Asia Nikkei, Yonhap News)

LG’s new patents showing 2 folding phone concepts. The first show a device that is made out of 2 individual bodies that house a single screen. The second version is mostly the same, but a back panel moves to the side to reveal a small transparent section of the main display that is used for notifications, time, date, etc. (Android Authority, GSM Info, CN Beta)

Camera

Samsung’s new patent with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) hints an option to embed the troublesome camera and sensors inside the screen itself. It shows a device with multiple holes cut in the screen to house the front-facing electronics.  (GSM Arena, Patent, CNET, Neowin, LetsGoDigital, Tencent, Sohu)

Intel has announced new RealSense camerasD415 and D435 as part of its D400 product family. Both cameras have been designed to add 3D recognition features to devices, and can be used indoors or outdoors in virtually any lighting conditions, and come supplied with RealSense SDK 2.0 (Engadget, Intel, Pocket-Lint, Sohu, Sina)

Memory

Samsung has started mass production of the industry’s first 16-gigabit (Gb) Graphics Double Data Rate 6 (GDDR6) memory for use in advanced graphics processing. These chips are built on a 10nm process and have a capacity of 16 gigabits. (GSM Arena, Samsung, CN Beta)

SK Hynix has updated its product lineup listing its own GDDR6 chips as available. The SK Hynix lineup includes two options, one working at 10Gbps or 12Gbps, at 1.25V and 1.35V, or the one working at 12Gbps or 14Gbps, operating at the same 1.25V and 1.35V. (CN Beta, Kit Guru, Fudzilla)

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) said it filed a lawsuit against Micron Technology subsidiaries in China for patent infringements that are part of a growing wrangle related to memory chips. The countersuit comes nearly a month after Micron filed suit against UMC in the U.S. (EE Times, UMC, EE News Europe, Sohu)

Battery

Apple CEO Tim Cook apologizes to Apple users who believe that Apple has deliberately slowed the processors down in older models. Apple will release software to allow people to see how healthy their batteries are, saying “all batteries age over time”. Cook also says the update will more clearly inform users when their iPhone is automatically reducing its performance in an effort to prevent unexpected shutdowns. (Engadget, The Verge, ABC News, Sina, Sohu)

Connectivity

NTT DoCoMo, has chosen Nokia to supply key hardware for a 2020 rollout of 5G cellular services in Japan. Tests of 5G in Japan have included broadcasts of 4K video and the safe remote control of construction machines, neither of which is practically feasible on 4G networks. (VentureBeat, Globe Newswire, 163)

Smartphones

Huawei will include Android Messages by default on its future Android phones. Android Messages supports Rich Communication Services (RCS) via Google’s Jibe platform. RCS allows users to use advanced messaging features like participating in group chats, location sharing, and sending high-quality pictures. (Android Authority, VentureBeat, Android Central, Huawei, Sohu)

Coolpad said it has received fresh investment of USD300M from Power Sun Ventures, which the Shenzhen-based firm will use to expand its capabilities in artificial intelligence. The funding comes after the company separated from Chinese Internet player, LeEco.  (Android Headlines, Business Standard, Live Mint, Economic Times, Sohu, China.com)

Italy’s antitrust organization Autorit Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) has launched a probe investigating allegations that Apple and Samsung use software updates not as a tool to secure or expand upon smartphone capabilities, but to speed up the aging process and force users to buy new phones. (Apple Insider, Opinione, iFeng, CN Beta)

Sony CEO Kaz Hirai indicates that he wants to make sure Sony stay, not in the smartphone business, per se, but in the communications business. (Phone Arena, The Guardian, Sohu, Sina)

OPPO officially announces entering Japanese market, launching a new product target youths. OPPO will sell the product online and via retailers, and also work with NTT DoCoMo. The product expects to launch in Apr 2018. (CN Beta, IT Media, iFeng)

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will ship around 18M iPhone X units in 1Q18 and about 13M in 2Q18. KGI expects the iPhone X to ‘go to end of life around mid-2018’, which would mean the device would sell around 62M units total, significantly lower than its previous forecast of 80M. (GSM Arena, 9to5Mac, Phone Arena, Laoyaoba)

Liu Lirong, chairman of Gionee Communication Equipment, has reportedly seen his holdings of nearly 41% stake in the smartphone company frozen by a district court in China, fueling speculation about the firm’s financial health. (Digitimes, press, CN Beta)

LG X4+ is announced – 5.3” HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, rear 13MP + front 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 7.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 3000mAh battery. (Android Headlines, NDTV)

PCs / Tablets

InFocus, a leading provider of display solutions for collaboration and learning, launches an addition to the JTouch product family, with the JTouch Plus INF8630AG. The 86” JTouch Plus is using an open Android platform that allows users to easily install and use any applications from the Google Play Store. (Android Headlines, Business Wire, Android Community)

Internet of Things

According to ABI Research, IoT technology revenues across 12 key smart city technologies and verticals will grow from around USD25B in 2017 to USD62B in 2026 at an average growth rate of 11%.  (PR Newswire, Tech Republic, ABI Research)

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