05-01: Happy Labor Day – T-Mobile and Sprint have announced plans to merge their operations; Fitbit has announced that it plans to use Google’s Cloud Healthcare API; etc.

Chipsets

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has finally admitted that the company is struggling with its 10nm process technology, and those struggles are preventing the company from achieving good yields of 10nm chips. The CEO says volume production of 10nm silicon will not occur before 2019. (CN Beta, Tech Report)

A job post shows Apple is hiring an engineer to lead a team designing 5G modems. It seems that Apple could be interested in making their own 5G modems. (Ubergizmo, Cult of Mac, Glassdoor)

Touch Display

According to Yole Développement and its partner Knowmade, Apple has been working on IP development to master all key elements of a new microLED display technology. In this patent landscape analysis, Apple ranks first in term of the size, strength and depth of its portfolio with more than 60 patent families. (Yole, press, Laoyaoba)

A recently released patent application from Microsoft titled “Input Based On Interactions With A Physical Hinge” shows the firm has been hard at work on a bendable, hinged display that would look and work somewhat like a digital version of a paperback book. (Laoyaoba, Tech Republic, ZDNet, Window Central)

Camera

Soundcam is a new camera that can take pictures of sound. The camera works by combining 64 separate microphones, a traditional optical camera, and an integrated data analysis system. Using data from the mics, the system figures out exactly where in the frame the sounds are originating from and then overlays the high-resolution results in real time on the live view from the optical camera. (Digital Trends, Peta Pixel, Mobile01, Kickstarter)

Storage

In 2017 Samsung leads the DRAM market with its 70% operating profit rate, follows by SK Hynix with 50%. Micron is at number 3 with 49.3% operating profit rate, which is close to SK Hynix. It is believed that with Micron continues expanding its DRAM business, by end of 2018, its operating profit rate might exceed SK Hynix becoming the number 2 biggest DRAM vendor. (TechNews, Laoyaoba)

Battery

Thermal issue has been bothering Apple with its AirPower, and reportedly has delayed the launch to May / Jun 2018. AirPower is exclusively manufactured by Luxshare ICT, and the first order batch reportedly will reach 10M units. (TechNews, Sina)

Connectivity

T-Mobile and Sprint have announced plans to merge their operations, combining the US’ 3rd and 4th largest wireless carriers, poised to form a single entity in a USD26.5B merger. The new company will simply be called T-Mobile, and its current CEO John Legere will also be the head of the new company. (Android Central, Android Authority, Business Wire, CN Beta, iFeng)

Phones

Xiaomi shipped over 70M smartphones in 2017 and is likely to push its shipments to 100M units in 2018, according to Digitimes. This means more business opportunities for Taiwan-based suppliers. (CN Beta, Digitimes, press)

Apple grew its India net profit for FY17 ended Mar 2018 by 44% at INR373.4 crore, according to the Apple’s latest regulatory filings made to the Registrar of Companies (RoC). Apple India’s total income (including other income) grew by 17% to touch INR11,704.5 crore in FY17, up from INR9,997.6 crore in the previous fiscal. (Apple Insider, India Times, BGR, Sohu, Feng)

BLU Products has “reached a settlement” with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the alleged farming of user data by a third-party service. (Android Headlines, Engadget, FTC)

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus dominated the premium segment in India’s smartphone market for 1Q18, according to CyberMedia Research (CMR). Samsung Galaxy S9 series shipped 180% higher than Google Pixel 2 and Apple iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X. In 1Q18, the feature phone market grew by 91% YoY, while 4G smartphones grew by 16%. (Indian Express, CMR India, press, Android Headlines)

PCs / Tablets

Apple will defer the volume production of its new budget-type MacBook Air for 2018 to 2H18 from the originally-scheduled 2Q18, according to Digitimes. The supply chain sources have added that they would suffer from high material inventories and low capacity utilization before Apple starts to take shipments probably 3Q18. (Apple Insider, Gizmo China, Digitimes, press, Sohu, iFeng)

Wearables

Carnegie Mellon University has debuted a smartwatch that has a built-in projector, turning the wearer’s arm or hand into a touchscreen. The LumiWatch is the first of its kind to use a a fully-functional laser projector and sensor array – and with 40cm2 of interactive surface. (Android Headlines, CNET, Daily Mail, CN Beta)

Fitbit has announced that it plans to use Google’s Cloud Healthcare API to help the company integrate further into the health-care system. The technology allows doctors and other health workers to see a more complete profile of patients by connecting Fitbit data with electronic medical records. (Engadget, CNBC, Fortune, Tencent, Jiasuhui)

Contact lenses may be useful for restoring vision to people who are short- or long-sighted, but they’re less useful at correcting color blindness. Now the University of Birmingham has developed a contact lens that can help correct certain kinds of color blindness, thanks to a safe, low cost dye. (CN Beta, New Atlas, Slash Gear, University of Birmingham)

Home

In 2015 a plug board with USB sockets is launched by Xiaomi. The sales on the launch day reached 247K units, and in 3 months the number exceeds 1M units. Now, after 3 years, the sales has exceeded 10M units. Qingmi is the manufacturer of Xiaomi, founded in 2013. (My Drivers, Very OL)

Artificial Intelligence

According to Strategy Analytics, in the future artificial intelligence (AI) would be equipped in smartphones in 3 forms—virtual assistant, machine learning and AI processor. Strategy Analytics forecast that by 2018, there would be 241M units smartphones sold equipped with AI processor, and this will increase to 928M units by 2022. (Strategy Analytics report)

A survey conducted in Feb 2018 with 1000 US residents and report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that poor understanding of what AI assistants can do and a general lack of trust could hamper growth of assistants like Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri. (PwC, report, VentureBeat)

Robotics

Starship Technologies, a robotics startup created by Skype’s cofounders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis in 2014, has launched a large-scale commercial autonomous delivery service aimed at corporate and academic campuses in Europe and the U.S.  The company has raised around USD17M in venture capital funding. (VentureBeat, Starship, Zhidx)

Coretronic Intelligent Robotics, a robot-manufacturing arm of BLU maker Coretronic, is expected to begin volume production of smart drone products designed for surveillance purposes in Jul 2018, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press)

Fintech

Covee, a startup out of Berlin, has raised EUR1.35M in a round led by LocalGlobe in London, with Atlantic Labs in Berlin and a selection of angels. Covee uses blockchain to allow experts worldwide to collaborate. The work generated is constantly accounted for on-chain. (TechCrunch, Covee)

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