03-14: RIP Stephen Hawking… Broadcomm officially end the Qualcomm acquisition effort; vivo announces its new “Super HDR” platform; etc.


Samsung Electronics has won orders from NXP and Telechips one after the other regarding consignment production (foundry) of their semiconductors. After it lost foundry business for Qualcomm’s 7nm chips to TSMC, it succeeded in attracting new customers. (Laoyaoba, TechNews, ET News)

After President Donald Trump issued an executive order blocking Broadcom’s proposed takeover of U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm, the Singapore-based company will formally announce an end to acquisition efforts. (Apple Insider, Bloomberg, WSJ, Caijing)

Touch Display

WitsView expects that the penetration rate of full-screen models in the all smartphones will rise rapidly to 44.6% in 2018, and reach 90% in 2021. Notch design is another focus for vendors in2018 since Apple released iPhone X with notch design and 3D facial recognition in 2017. Some panel makers are actively purchasing panel cutting equipment to meet the different needs of clients in product development. WitsView estimates that the penetration rate of models with notch design in smartphones will be 15.7% in 2018 and 26.9% in 2021.  (TrendForce[cn], TrendForce, press)


vivo announces its new “Super HDR” platform, which it says harnessing the power of AI. It works in a very similar fashion compared to regular HDR, but because of its ability to reach a 14 exposure value and capture up to 12 frames with just one press of a shutter button. (Android Central, GSM Arena, vivo, Sohu)

According to Yuanta Investiment Consulting, considering the share of mid-to-low smartphones share is increasing, the adoption of dual-camera in the future would be decreasing. This believes would impact the lens and mid-to-high end module vendors negatively. Sunny Optical is one of the vendors. High priced smartphone (above USD500) would adopt higher-end dual camera module (USD35 above). (EE World, CEB2B, Laoyaoba)


In 1Q18, the traditional off-season, SSD market has seen obviously less stock up orders from PC OEMs compared with 4Q17, according to TrendForce. SSD suppliers have cut prices to enhance PC OEMs’ willingness to adopt their new 64/72-layer 3D-SSD products. For 1Q18, the average contract prices of mainstream Client SSD for PC OEMs are estimated drop by 3%~5% in SATA-SSD sector and 4%~6% in PCIe-SSD sector compared with the previous quarter. This will indicate the stop of continuous price rise over the past year. For the 2Q18, SSD suppliers will continue to expand their capacity of 64/72-layer 3D SSD, but the growth momentum of demand remains weak, resulting in slight oversupply of SSD. (Laoyaoba, TrendForce[cn], TrendForce, press)

According to IC Insights, the price of DRAM per Gb (Gigabit) in Jan 2018 (USD0.97) was 47% higher than the price of DRAM in Jan 2017 (USD0.66). This kind of trend is unprecedented and it surpasses the highest price increase (45%) that happened 30 years ago in 1988. A reason why there is such a huge increase in DRAM price is because number of supplies is less than number of demands.  (IC Insights, press, CN Beta, ET News)

Samsung Electronics reportedly plans to expand its NAND flash memory chip line located in Xian, China, to meet the rising global demand for its products. Samsung plans to invest USD7B over the next 3 years for the expansion project. (My Drivers, Laoyaoba, Yonhap News)


According to Kelly Hsieh, research director of TrendForce, demand for 5G applications will gradually emerge as consensus on 5G standards and 5G application scenarios are being formed. Particularly, small cells are key to 5G as they can support increasing demand of data performance. It is estimated that the global deployments and installed base of small cells will reach 2.838M units in 2018 and 4.329M units in 2019, an annual growth of 52.5%. (TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn])

IHS indicates that when including 5G in the forecast, 2G / 3G / 4G / 5G hardware revenue is anticipated to increase to USD25B by 2022, with a five-year CAGR of -7.8%. 5G hardware revenue is expected to reach USD11B in 2022, starting from a very low base of early adopters in the U.S. in 2H18, followed in 2019 by South Korea and China’s massive trial that will generate revenue for vendors. (Fierce Wireless, Laoyaoba)


Israel’s Electra Consumer Products has filed an ILS80M (USD23M) lawsuit in Israel against China’s Huawei Technologies, accusing it of breaching a contract to import electronics to Israeli customers. Electra reported Feb 2018 that Huawei has informed the company it has not met purchase targets for 2017, a criteria for extending the import agreement. (Android Headlines, Jerusalem Post, Reuters)

Finland’s government investment arm Solidium has acquired a 3.3% stake in Nokia at a cost of about EUR844M (USD1.04B) to strengthen Finnish influence over the telecom network gear maker. Nokia is nowadays focused on the telecom network industry where it competes with Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei. (Android Headlines, Reuters, VentureBeat, Telecoms, Business Time, Sohu)

Xiaomi Music has announced signing collaboration agreement with Taihe Music Group, which covers music royalty, show tickets, fans management, etc. The agreement will provide services to 300M Xiaomi users with rich content. (Laoyaoba, eNorth, Shoujibao)

Wistron, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that makes iPhones for Apple in India, is set to invest Rs 682 crore on expanding operations, having got approval to acquire additional land near Bengaluru. The Karnataka government issued a notification approving Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing’s proposed investment in the state to make smartphones, Internet of Things products and biotech devices. The project will come up at Narasapura Industrial Area in Kolar district, adjacent to Bengaluru district.  (Laoyaoba, Hindu Business Line, Economic Times)

Huawei Nova 2 Lite is launched in Singapore and Philippines – 5.99” 1440×720 HD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 8MP, 3GB+32GB, Android 8.0, 3000mAh, SGD298 / P9,990. (Vulcan Post, Straits Times, Android Headlines)

PCs / Tablets

Apple reportedly is going to launch new iPad series products, including a new 11” iPad Pro featuring facial recognition and new processor. It expects to launch as early as end of 2Q18. First wave sales are expected to be 6M~8M units. GIS-KY, Foxconn, Radiant would be benefit from this new series of iPads. (Ubergizmo, UDN)


Fitbit Versa smartwatch is announced, featuring Fitbit OS, priced at USD199; and kids-oriented Fitbit Ace is launched, which a relatively basic tracker, only monitoring steps, active minutes, and sleep patterns, priced at USD99. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, The Verge, CN Beta)

Internet of Things

Google Co-Founder Larry Page invested heavily in a very secretive company called Kitty Hawk, run by Google X’s former executive Sebastian Thrun, and now the self-piloting flying taxis that the company has been working on are ready to be revealed to the public. The first model is called Cora, and it’s a cross between a drone and an airplane, design-wise. (Android Headlines, The Guardian, Market Watch, Cora, Fortune, CN Beta)

Amazon is on track to reach USD1T in market capitalization by 2022, according to a sum-of-the-parts analysis from Jefferies analyst Brent Thill.  (CN Beta, Bloomberg, CNBC)

Toyota Connected North America, the global technology strategy business unit for Toyota, today announced a multi-year partnership with Avis Budget Group, a leading global provider of mobility solutions, that will add 10,000 Toyota vehicles to Avis Car Rental’s expanding fleet of connected cars.  (CN Beta, Auto News, CNET, PR Newswire)

SenseTime and Shanghai-based INESA have singed a collaborative agreement, aiming to build a smart city service construction. Both parties will leverage each other’s strength, and expand collaboration on artificial intelligence (AI). (Laoyaoba, Leiphone, Sina)

Ecobee Switch+ features Amazon Alexa, bringing voice-enabled technology and a speaker to an otherwise mundane household fixture, which is priced at USD99 in the US. (TechCrunch, Android Central, TechRadar, 9to5Mac, Qianjia)

Tmall Genie X1, Tmall Projector A1 and S3 won design awards, and they are products from Alibaba. Tmall Genie X1 is first Chinese smart speaker to exceed 1M units. Tmall Genie X1 won Red Dot Design Award. (My Drivers, DoNews, iFeng)

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