05-10: AUO has announced to close the Shanghai Song Jiang factory; ZTE Corp’s main business operations have ceased due to a ban imposed by the U.S. government; etc.

Touch Display

According to TrendForce analysis, Mini LED is bound to face the direct competition from OLED. For consumer electronics such as smartphones or TVs, consumers have gradually assumed that OLED is another word for high-end products. Together with its stability in production, OLED will have more advantages in terms of productivity in the future, so the market is trying to figure out what applications Mini LED should be used for. (Laoyaoba, LEDinside)

AU Optronics (AUO) has announced to close the Shanghai Song Jiang factory, and will shift the production to Su Zhou factory. This would be the first time AUO closing factory in Mainland China. Song Jiang factory is to produce TFT-LCD module, mainly for PC, notebook and other IT display. (CN Beta, LTN, 21Jingji)

Motorola’s patent shows a device with a large screen and a hinge running vertically down the middle. While the hinge is expected to maintain stability for the whole device, the screen itself will fold both inwards and outwards along with the hinge.  (Phone Arena, LetsGoDigital, SlashGear, BGR, Sohu)

Sensory

OPPO is introducing its 3D sensor technology. The company explains that the underlying theory is by injecting 3D structured light on an object surface, and then receives the bounced back signal. Based on the bounced back signal, it calculates the object location, depth and other information to reconstruct the 3D space. (My Drivers, 163, ESM China)

Battery

New York University’s Department of Chemistry has developed an MRI-based technique that can quickly diagnose what ails certain types of batteries—from determining how much charge remains to detecting internal defects—without opening them up. (TechNews, Energy Trend, NYU)

Phone

According Canalys, Smartphone fatigue hit Europe in 1Q18, as shipments fell 6.3% year on year, the biggest ever drop in a single quarter. Western Europe bore the brunt, down 13.9% with 30.1M units shipped. Central and Eastern Europe, though a smaller market, remained a growth region, up 12.3% at 15.9M units, driven by a buoyant Russia. (Canalys, press, My Drivers)

ZTE Corp’s main business operations have ceased due to a ban imposed by the U.S. government, but the company is trying to have the ban modified or reversed. (Android Authority, Android Central, Reuters, VOA Chinese, Sohu)

Wang Xiang, Senior VP at Xiaomi revealed their team has no plans of stopping and will officially launch Mi devices in France on 22 May and Italy on 24 May 2018. (Android Headlines, CNET, Digital Trends, GSM Arena, iFeng)

Huawei Y3 2018 Android Go smartphone is launched in Indonesia – 5” FWVGA, MediaTek MT6737M, rear 8MP + front 2MP, 1GB+8GB, Android 8.1 (Go Edition), 2280mAh, INDR1.5M (INR7200). (Android Authority, NDTV)

Xiaomi Redmi 2S is announced – 5.99” 1440×720 HD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625,  rear dual 12MP-5MP + front 16MP, AI beautify, AI portrait, 3GB+32GB / 4GB+64GB, 3080mAh, CNY999 / CNY1299. (Gizmo China, PC Pop, CN Beta)

Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality

Samsung is expanding its strategic alliance with Microsoft as Samsung is working on a powerful cordless headset that supports both AR and VR given the company’s intense focus over 2017 on pushing “mixed reality” (MR) in its premium Galaxy line of devices. Samsung plans to debut its version at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin Aug 2018. (Engadget, Korea Times, CN Beta, Laoyaoba)

Artificial Intelligence

Tailor Brands, a company that uses AI to create company brands, has raised USD15.5M in a series B round of funding led by Pitango Venture Capital Growth Fund and the U.K.’s Armat Group, with participation from Mangrove Capital Partners and Disruptive Technologies. (VentureBeat, TechCrunch, iFeng)

Automotive

The Swedish group Volvo Trucks has announced that it will bring its electric trucks to the road as soon as 2018 and with the unveiling of a new truck. They have unveiled “the Volvo FE Electric”, a truck “designed for heavier city distribution and refuse transport operations with gross weights of up to 27 tonnes.” (CN Beta, Electrek, Heavy Vehicles)

E-Commerce

Walmart’s online grocery delivery partnerships with ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft have allegedly ended. (Reuters, Digital Trends, Xinhuanet)

Walmart is buying 77% stake in Flipkart for about USD16B, which will give the retailer access to Indian e-commerce market that is estimated to grow to USD200B within a decade. (VentureBeat, Economic Times, Reuters, iFeng, Sina, News18)

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