02-01: Qualcomm has expanded its global patent cross-license agreement with Samsung; Samsung said it would adopt innovative technology like foldable OLED screens to further distinguish itself from competitors; etc.

Chipsets

Head of Mobiles at MediaTek TL Lee said that the company will partner with Reliance Jio to launch a new Android Oreo (Go Edition) smartphone in India in 2018 under the LYF brand. He also said that the phone will be powered by MT6739 SoC.  (Android Central, Economic Times, Fone Arena)

MediaTek GM TL Lee vows to allow for major advancements in the Android smartphone segment in India, promising that its next-generation solutions will bring a wide variety of “premium” features to new mid-rangers that are set to be released in India over the course of 2018. It is planning to enable such innovation with the MT6739, which comes with a Face++ facial recognition technology and is compatible with Google’s lightweight Android GO operating system. (Android Headlines, The News Minute, Hindustan Times, CNYES, China Times, Laoyaoba, TechNews)

MediaTek has announced that in 4Q17 revenue was NTD60,403M, down 5.1% sequentially, and down 12% year-over-year. The quarter-over-quarter decrease was mainly due to decreasing seasonal demand of certain consumer electronics. The year-over-year decrease was mainly due to lower smartphone shipments. Annual revenue totaled NTD238,216M, down 13.5% year-over-year. (Laoyaoba, MediaTek, Public Now, Reuters)

MediaTek is launching NeuroPilot AI platform, the application is mainly AI Vision and AI Voice. The main target is to bring AI to cross platforms covering smartphone, smart home, and self-driving. MediaTek reveals that smartphone with NeuriPilot AI platform will be launched in Mar 2018. (CN Beta, XCN News, CNMO, Sohu)

Qualcomm has expanded its global patent cross-license agreement with Samsung covering mobile devices and infrastructure equipment. The amended agreement is consistent with Qualcomm’s global handset-level licensing practices. As part of the agreement, Samsung will be withdrawing its interventions in Qualcomm’s appeal of the KFTC decision in the Seoul High Court. (Android Headlines, Financial Times, CNET, WSJ, Qualcomm, Caijing)

Samsung has confirmed that it has begun manufacturing ASIC chips which are used to mine bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. This brings big-name competition to the ASIC space, which is dominated by China’s Bitmain and Canaan Creative, both working with TSMC. The crypto explosion is said to have added USD350M~400M to TSMC’s quarterly revenues. (Coin Telegraph, The Bell, TechCrunch, Quartz, The Verge, 36Kr)

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su has confirmed that the company is ramping GPU production to meet the increasingly high demand from gamers and the crypto market. Su has confirmed that the production is not limited by Silicon, rather by an industry wide shortage in memory.  (Ubergizmo, WCCFTech, UDN)

Touch Display

Samsung said it would adopt innovative technology like foldable OLED screens to further distinguish itself from competitors. Samsung also says it will enter new businesses related to AI and smart devices through an expansion of its much-maligned Bixby voice assistant technology. (The Verge, Samsung, Phone Arena, Jiasuhui, CNMO, Sina)

Connectivity

The JEDEC Solid State Technology Association has announced the Universal Flash Storage 3.0 standard, officially labeling it as the version JESD220D. The technology offers a 100% performance increase over UFS 2.1, boasting a data rate of 11.6Gbps per lane and support for up to two lanes in total, promising peak bandwidth of 23.2Gbps.  (Android Headlines, Android Community, Pocket Now, Business Wire, HQBPC, TechWeb)

Nokia has signed an MoU with Telefónica Germany to develop a joint 5G innovation cluster. The companies agreed to test a series of new 5G technologies in Telefónica’s research and development lab in Munich, Germany. This will then be followed by a series of live network tests in Berlin with the objective of building a benchmark network with 4.5G 4.9G and 5G technology.  (Android Headlines, Telecoms, Total Telecom)

Phones

Murata vice chairman Yoshitaka Fujita indicates that the company has not seen Apple’s drop commensurately with the sharp fall in the iPhone X production target. Murata is believed to be helping Apple with liquid crystal polymer-based flexible circuit boards. (Apple Insider, Reuters, Asia Nikkei, TechNews)

According to Kantar Worldpanel, Apple iPhone X made it into the top 3 best-selling devices in Dec 2017 across Europe, Urban China, Japan, Australia and the United States. iOS loyalty reached a new high of 96% in the US, though its sales share fell 0.5% to 43.9% in the country.  (Apple Insider, Kantar Worldpanel, press, GSM Arena, CN Beta)

Google’s USD1.1B deal to acquire most of HTC’s smartphone design division has officially closed. Hardware SVP Rick Osterloh has announced the news, hailing the arrival of an “incredibly talented team to work on even better and more innovative products in the years to come”. (GSM Arena, Google, CN Beta, The Verge)

Samsung has officially announced the arrival of Samsung Pay in Mexico. In Mexico, Samsung has partnered with several financial entities, including payment providers (American Express, MasterCard and Visa); banks (Banorte, Banregio, Citibanamex, HSBC and Santander); and banking acquirers/services/tools such as Clip and iZettle. (GSM Arena, Samsung, iMobile)

Samsung Electronics posted KRW65.98T in consolidated revenue and KRW15.15T in operating profit for 4Q17. Overall, the company reported full-year revenue of KRW239.58T and full-year operating profit of KRW53.65T. (Samsung, Tencent)

Coolpad’s CEO Jiang Chao reveals that Xiaomi’s infringement of its patents spans more than 200 patents. The CEO, however, stated that they decided to sue Xiaomi for just 6 out of the 200. (CN Beta, Gizmo China)

Worldwide shipments of devices — PCs, tablets and mobile phones — totaled 2.28B units in 2017, according to Gartner. Shipments are on course to reach 2.32B units in 2018, an increase of 2.1%. Gartner forecasts that mobile phone shipments will increase by 2.6% in 2018, with the total amounting to 1.9B units. In 2018, smartphone sales will grow by 6.2%, to represent 87% of mobile phone sales.  (Gartner, report, Laoyaoba)

Sharp Android One S3 is launched in Japan – 5” FHD IGZO, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, rear 13MP + front 5MP, 3GB+32GB, IP68, 2700mAh, JPY32,400. (Android Headlines, Android Authority, The Verge, Sharp, GSM Arena)

Nokia 3310 4G is announced in China – 2.4” 320×240, rear 2MP, 256MB+512MB, YunOS, TD-LTE / TD-SCDMA, VoLTE, 1200mAh. (Android Headlines, The Verge, TechRadar, Engadget, Nokia, CN Beta)

OPPO A71 (2018) is official at Pakistan – 5.2” HD, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, rear 13MP + front 5MP, 2GB + 16GB, ColorOS 3.2 (Android 7.1), 3000mAh, PKR19,899 (USD179). (Gizmo China, GSM Arena, OPPO)

PCs / Tablets

Foxconn Technology is likely to help its Japanese affiliate Sharp Corporation to reenter the personal computer business by buying Toshiba’s ailing PC division. (CN Beta, Japan Today, Channel News, Asia Nikkei, Taiwan News)

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