01-30: MediaTek allegedly will launch another mid-end mobile SoC dubbed Helio P38 in 3Q18; MediaTek is expected to land Wi-Fi ASIC orders for the next-generation HomePad devices to be launched by Apple in 2019; etc.

Chipsets

Samsung and Apple remained the top 2 semiconductor chip buyers in 2017, representing 19.5% of the total worldwide market, according to Gartner. Samsung and Apple together consumed USD81.8B of semiconductors in 2017, an increase of more than USD20B from 2016. (CN Beta, Gartner, press)

Other than Helio P40 and P70, MediaTek allegedly will launch another mid-end mobile SoC dubbed Helio P38 in 3Q18, and the phone with such SoC will be priced at CNY799 or below. It is a combination of 4×A73+4×A53, with main CPU speed at 1.8GHz, GPU is using ARM Mali-G72MP3. It is allegedly going to be built with 12nm process, same as Helio P40 and P70. (CN Beta, My Drivers)

MediaTek is expected to land Wi-Fi ASIC orders for the next-generation HomePad devices to be launched by Apple in 2019. MediaTek is likely to build the ASIC chips using a 7nm process at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). (Digitimes, UDN, UDN)

Touch Display

OPPO has patented a folding smartphone design for a device that would open up like a tablet. The device would have a rear hinge but the front would house a single, flexible display. OPPO is one of several smartphone vendors said to be working on a foldable smartphone. (Android Headlines, GSM Arena, Android Authority, CNMO)

LG Display (LGD) will supply flexible organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) to Sony. They broadened the scope of cooperation from large OLED TVs to smartphones. It is essential for LG Display to acquire customers as the company will begin mass production of flexible OLEDs at 15,000 sheets per month from the third quarter in Paju E6 production facilities following those at Gumi E5. (GSM Arena, Business Korea, Sina, OfWeek)

In 2016, haptic technology company Immersion filed two rounds of lawsuits against Apple. Immersion has announced that the two companies have reached a settlement, as well as setting up licensing agreements for its haptic feedback technology (CN Beta, Engadget, Apple Insider, Immersion)

China Electronics Panda Crystal Technology (CEC Panda) 8.6-Gen LCD panel production line has begun operation in Chengdu. The investment for the production line allegedly amounts to CNY28B, which will enter full production in 1H19. (JRJ, Laoyaoba)

Storage

Forbes’ 2018 prediction for storage industry. (Forbes, article, CN Beta)

Biometrics

Samsung’s patent titled “Real Time Authentication Based on Blood Flow Parameters” describes a method to identify users by means of blood flow patterns in the finger or wrist. The technology relies on the principle arterial conduction paths of different users are almost never identical. (Gizmo China, Android Headlines, TechRadar, Galaxy Club, Sina, My Drivers)

Samsung Galaxy S9 series reportedly will feature “IntelligentScan” to unlock the phone. The feature is said utilizing “iris scanner and face recognition together for better results even in low or very bright light”. (GSM Arena, Android Police, Digitimes, ChinaZ)

According to Lenovo, a vulnerability has been identified in Lenovo Fingerprint Manager Pro. Sensitive data stored by Lenovo Fingerprint Manager Pro, including users’ Windows logon credentials and fingerprint data, is encrypted using a weak algorithm, contains a hard-coded password, and is accessible to all users with local non-administrative access to the system it is installed in. Lenovo has released an update (version number 8.01.87) that includes fixes for the various issues. (Windows Central, Engadget, Lenovo, Gizmodo, iFeng, Sohu)

Connectivity

Nokia is introducing new silicon chipsets – the building blocks of its next-generation 5G network gear. Dubbed ReefShark, Nokia said the chipsets triple capacity to 84Gbps from 28Gb in its existing chip modules. These modules can be stacked up to enable a single cell tower / basestation to handle up to 6Tbps. (CN Beta, Telecoms, ZDNet, Reuters)

Phones

Lenovo Group is betting on “new retail” to uproot traditional grocery and department stores with technology as it opens its first outlet store. The new store in Beijing currently carries more than 400 categories of products, and features special zones for smart living choices and tailor-made services. (CN Beta, Stock Star, Yicai, Asia Times)

ODM vendor Huaqin has announced its 2017 financial results. In 2017 the company shipped 96M units, majority belong to mobile phones. As for revenues, in 2017 the company has earned more than USD3.8B, a 20% increase on year. (Laoyaoba, Sohu)

Apple will slash its production target for the iPhone X in the 3-month period from Jan 2018 by half from the more than 40M units envisaged at the time of its release in Nov 2017. Apple has notified suppliers that it had decided to cut 1Q18 production target to around 20M units, in light of slower-than-expected sales in the year-end holiday shopping season in key markets such as Europe, the U.S. and China. (Apple Insider, Asia Nikkei, CN Beta)

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts the market will appreciate the Apple’s 6.1” LCD iPhone in 2018, which he says will account for around 50% of the new models sold in 2H18. Kuo predicts the 6.1” LCD model will feature a 2,850mAh to 2,950mAh battery in rectangular shape. It will have the same features as current iPhone X, except for 3D Touch and rear dual-camera. (9to5Mac, GSM Arena, CNII, OfWeek, Tencent)

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo casts doubt on rumors about Apple’s 2nd-gen iPhone SE launching in 2Q18. He believes Apple does not have enough spare development resources to focus on launching another iPhone, with three new models already in the pipeline. (Phone Arena, Mac Rumors, CN Beta)

Above Avolan analyst Neil Cybart forecasts that Apple’s iPhone sales have increased 5% on year in 4Q17. In total, analysts predict Apple sold 82M iPhones in 1Q18, making up more than two-thirds of total sales. (Laoyaoba, Above Avalon, press, Proactive Investors)

Apple reportedly will launch 3 new iPhone in 2018. In particular 6.1” LCD model will become the best-seller thanks to its value for money. Pegatron will gain 60% of the assembly orders, which makes it exceeding Hon Hai (Foxconn) the first time for large-screen iPhone ODM. If this model becomes the best seller, Pegatron is going to benefit. (UDN, TechNews, LTN, TechNews)

Wearables

Lenovo has announced its VR Classroom Kit, which will use Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream. The kit is designed to bring virtual reality into the classroom and use it as a tool to enhance students’ learning experiences. Along with the Mirage Solo with Daydream, it also comes with plenty of educational content. (Gizmo China, 9to5Google, Lenovo, Sohu)

Internet of Things

IDC forecasts worldwide spending on robotics and drones solutions will total USD103.1B in 2018, an increase of 22.1% over 2017. By 2021, IDC expects this spending will more than double to USD218.4B with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) or 25.4%. Robotics spending will reach USD94B in 2018 and will account for more than 90% of all spending throughout the 2017-2021 forecast.  (IDC, press, CN Beta)

Xiaomi has unveiled Mi Box 4 and Mi Box 4c set-top boxes. Using MIUI TV on top of Android Marshmallow, the devices use AI to make movie suggestions. Both devices are powered by an Amlogic S905L quad-core processor and Mali-450 GPU clocked at 750MHz. They support 4K HDR output at 30fps and 60fps.   (GizChina, Android Authority, Android Police, Mi.com, Sina, Sohu)

Ola, an Indian ride-sharing company with more that 125M users in its home country, has announced plans to launch in Australia in 2018. Founded in 2011, it currently operates in more than 110 Indian cities, has a network of more than 1M “driver-partners”. (TechCrunch, CNET, News.com.au, SMH)

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