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03-27: Mantis Vision is reportedly working on developing 3-D sensing camera solutions for Samsung Electronics’ ‘Galaxy S10’; Android smartphone vendors are rushing to incorporate in-display fingerprint recognition technology into their 18:9 all-screen models; etc.

Chipsets

The Chinese government is planning a new CNY200B (USD31.5B) fund aimed at renewing efforts to kickstart its domestic chip industry and offset a huge trade deficit in imported semiconductors. The state-backed China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Co. is in talks with government agencies and corporations, targeting the new financing. Under the reported plan, the fund would begin disbursing money in 2H18. (Bloomberg, EE Times, Reuters, ESM China)

Touch Display

Foxconn panel fabs planning in China and US do not stop because of the “trade war” between China and US. In particular the 10.5-Gen fab in Guangzhou, China has begun, and expects to enter production in 2019, same as the one in Wisconsin, US. (Laoyaoba, UDN)

IEK manager Lin Zemin indicates that since 4Q17, the related suppliers (including Samsung) have decreased the OLED panel production forecast for Apple iPhone X. He forecasts that by 2020, the OLED large size TV panel market share still does not exceed 5%, and LCD still leads the market. (CW, Laoyaoba)

Sensory

MEMS supplier Bosch Sensortec has launched new products targeting China market— ultralow-power acceleration sensor BMA400, intended for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications as well as navigation, body motion tracking and gaming BMI085. (Laoyaoba, OfWeek, Elecfans, 52RD, Electronics Weekly)

Israeli startup Mantis Vision is reportedly working on developing 3-D sensing camera solutions for Samsung Electronics’ ‘Galaxy S10’. The Israeli startup is collaborating with camera module firm Namuga, which supplies camera modules to Samsung Galaxy A and J series, to integrate the 3-D sensing software in a camera module.  (52RD, Value Walk, The Investor)

Biometrics

Android smartphone vendors are rushing to incorporate in-display fingerprint recognition technology into their 18:9 all-screen models as they have turned conservative about adopting 3D sensor-based face recognition modules. The unit cost for 3D sensors adopted by Apple iPhone X hit a high of USD60. Qualcomm has teamed up with Taiwan-based GIS and China’s O-film Tech, to turn out its ultrasonic fingerprint sensors, which are expected to be adopted by more Android vendors in Asian brands in 2019. (Digitimes, press, My Drivers, CNMO)

Battery

Shanghai NewEdge Technology chairman Lu Huihong believes that when Apple AirPower is launched, there will be a lot of similar products from China vendors launched, with lower cost but limited functionality. GigaDevice product marketing director Jin Guangyi also indicates that currently a lot of wireless charging solutions have chosen GD32 MCU, and driven by AirPower, the shipment will continue to increase. Currently the shipment has exceeded 150M units. (Sohu, Laoyaoba, EEPW)

Connectivity

A new USD1.3T spending bill has been signed by US President Donald Trump includes bipartisan provisions meant to facilitate and consequently accelerate 5G deployment in the United States as part of the Ray Baum Act.  (Android Headlines, CNET, CBS News, Light Reading, CN Beta, Sohu)

Phones

Samsung Electronics Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun has deeply apologized to shareholders for the falling market share in China. He said that China is a more complicated market and that Samsung is now trying different approaches to bring in new customers. (GizChina, SamMobile, The Investor, Lianxianjia)

Lee Jae Yong, the vice chief of Samsung Electronics, has made a business trip to Europe, according to the company officials, embarking on his first official activity since being released from prison in Feb 2018. (CN Beta, The Straits Times, Chosun, Korea Times)

Chinese vendors are launching “blockchain phones” yet there are no consensus understanding on what a blockchain phone is. Green Data Center Technology Committee general secretary Lv Tianwen thinks “blockchain phone” is only a gimmick. He indicates that there is no exact usage of blockchain technologies, not to mention on a phone. (CN Beta, Sohu, BT Week, GSM Arena, Chine Money Maker)

Flash sales, social media savvy have helped Xiaomi topple Samsung as India’s No 1 smartphone supplier. Chinese technology start-up Xiaomi plans to double sales in India to about USD2B in 2018, but quickly building up supply to meet fast-growing demand remains a challenge. (SCMP, Laoyaoba)

European Union harbours “grave suspicions” about the dominance of Google and has not ruled out breaking it up, the bloc’s competition commissioner has warned. Margrethe Vestager has said that the threat to split Google up into smaller companies must be kept open. (CN Beta, Telegraph, Financial Review)

Morgan Stanley analysts are betting on Microsoft to reach USD1T in market value thanks to cloud adoption. Morgan Stanley expects Microsoft’s dominant share of the projected USD250B public cloud market will grow. (CN Beta, CNBC, Fortune)

Foxconn Technology Group’s subsidy Foxconn Interconnect Technology has acquired accessory maker Belkin in a deal worth USD866M. Belkin owns the brands Linksys and Wemo. Belkin, based in California, has been around for 35 years and is known for creating an array of computer and phone accessories, including wireless chargers, laptop docks, and phone cases.  (CN Beta, The Verge, CNET, Ars Technica)

OPPO F7 is official in India – 6.23” 2280×1080 FHD+ 19:9, MediaTek Helio P60, rear 16MP + front 25MP, 4GB+64GB / 6GB+128GB, Android 8.1, rear fingerprint scanner, face unlock, 3400mAh, from INR21,990. (GizChina, Economic Times, GSM Arena, Indian Express)

Lava Z50 Android Oreo (Go Edition) is launched in India – 4.5” FWVGA 2.5D curved glass, MediaTek MT6737M, rear 5MP + front 5MP, 1GB+8GB, Android 8.1, 2000mAh, INR4,400. (Gizmo China, First Post, NDTV)

PCs / Tablets

Lenovo Group has introduced rigorous Japanese-style product quality checks at factories in China to address complaints from customers in Japan. Lenovo has brought some of the proprietary inspection procedures developed at a plant in Japan’s Yamagata Prefecture to 6 factories in China, including ones in Shenzhen and near Shanghai, and added them for laptop and desktop computers slated for shipment to Japan. (Laoyaoba, Asia Nikkei)

Chuwi Hi9 Air is launched – 10.1” 2560×1600 IPS OGS, MediaTek Helio X20, rear 13MP + front 5MP, 4GB+64GB, Cat. 6 LTE optional, Android 8.0, 8000mAh, USD250. (AnandTech, Forbes, Gizmo China)

Internet of Things

In a survey about shopping habits and expectations of over 22,000 consumers in 27 countries, PwC found that 10% of respondents already own home AI devices in the form of virtual assistants and smart speakers like Amazon Echo or Google Home, while a further 32% plan to buy one. (AI Business, PwC report, Laoyaoba)

Apple, working with Swedish property developers Trivselhus, is helping to develop a new neighbourhood, Sommar Place, from the ground up with Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem in mind. (CN Beta, Independent, TechRadar, Daily Mail)

Uber has announced that it has sold its Southeast Asia-based business to rival Grab. Grab — which is valued at over USD6B— buy up Uber’s ride-sharing business in 8 countries in Southeast Asia. (TechCrunch, BBC, Financial Review, Ars Technica, Tencent, iFeng)

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