05-12: Qualcomm may bring 5G-ready smartphones in 2018; OPPO has revealed that in the past 3 years the company has been closely working with Qualcomm for 5G development; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm’s Durga Prasad Malladi, Senior Vice President of Engineering has revealed that some of its original equipment partners (OEMs) may bring 5G-ready smartphones in 2018 itself in line with some global telcos’ plan to launch 5G services. (CN Beta, VentureBeat, Economic Times)

Camera

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Intel have trained a program to process low-noise images in a room lit with a single candle. By feeding a RAW image processor two identical shots, one a short exposure and one a long exposure, the group managed to get an image with less noise and without the odd color casts alternative methods provide. With additional research, the processing algorithms could help cameras take images with less noise without using a longer shutter speed. (Digital Trends, University of Illinois, AI Tech Yun)

Memory

Toshiba has allegedly mostly given up on an USD18B sale of its chip unit because its officials consider near-term Chinese antitrust approval unlikely, leading them to accelerate a review of alternatives. (Android Headlines, WSJ, Market Watch, Telecom Paper, Huanqiu, Sina)

Material

Apple has announced its involvement in a new joint venture that has established the world’s first carbon-free and greenhouse gas emission-free aluminum smelting process. The venture, called Elysis, is a project of aluminum giants Alcoa and Rio Tinto, and is headquartered in Montreal with the support of the Canadian and Quebec governments. Apple helped to facilitate the venture.  (CN Beta, Apple Insider)

Connectivity

OPPO has revealed that in the past 3 years the company has been closely working with Qualcomm for 5G development. OPPO has developed a 5G trial machine with Qualcomm, which can achieve maximum download speed of 1.41Gbps. This is equivalent of downloading 1GB video in 6.8s. (CN Beta, Weibo)

According to Moor Insights and Strategy Senior Analyst Will Townsend, Samsung may be at an advantage as a new player in the 5G wireless wide area networking (WWAN) infrastructure market in North America and Europe.  (Forbes, Android Headlines)

SK Broadband has begun internet service with the maximum speed of 2.5Gbps, the fastest in the nation, to enhance the convenience of users who use multiple devices simultaneously at home. The service uses next-generation technology, called Gigabit-passive optical network (G-PON). (CN Beta, Next Big Future, Korea Joongang Daily, Korea Times, Hani)

Phone

Sirin Labs has announced the specifications of the FINNEY smartphone, a handset powered by a variety of blockchain technologies. The device is equipped with a secure wallet that supports major cryptocurrencies and tokens and is resistant to tampering thanks to a number of secure hardware elements. (Android Authority, Business Wire, Android Headlines, IT Bear)

Apple is reportedly working on an Apple Pay-branded credit card, which is being developed in partnership with Goldman Sachs.  Goldman Sachs will reportedly offer in-store loans to Apple customers who are buying new products. According to the report, the two are still deciding on the specific terms of the deal, but Apple is aiming to release the card to customers as soon as early 2019. (CN Beta, Digital Trends, Apple Insider, WSJ)

Apple has said that the company is scrapping plans for an EUR850M data centre in Ireland after 3 years of planning approval delays. (CN Beta, CNN, The Guardian)

David Kleidermacher, Android’s head of security, has implied that Google is now forcing OEMs to update devices with ‘regular’ security patches. (Android Central, XDA Developers, Sohu)

ZTE, maker of Android phones popular with budget-minded consumers, may be down for the count — at least as far as the U.S. is concerned. John Marick, the CEO of Consumer Cellular, a cellphone company that sold entry-level ZTE Android phones to its core customer, an older consumer, says “we’re obviously watching this very closely and anxiously.” (CN Beta, USA Today, Bloomberg)

Haier L8 is launched – 5.99” 2160×1080 FHD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon octa-core, rear dual 12MP-2MP + front 3MP, 4GB+64GB, 4000mAh, CNY1499. (CN Beta)

Wearables

Google will reportedly announce a second-generation version of its Pixel Buds and a Wear OS smartwatch with Pixel branding.  (Android Authority, Twitter)

Home

JD.com announces Dingdong Play and Dingdong mini2 small-sized home assistant, which are priced at CNY1899 and CNY79, respectively. Additionally, JD.com and Intel have announced smart home technology roadmap and strategic collaboration for development, exploring the smart home market together. (CN Beta, Sina, Sohu)

Microsoft is reportedly working on a new smart speaker with Quanta. The smart speaker will reportedly be introduced in the market under Microsoft’s own brand and it’s obviously going to be powered by Cortana, the company’s digital assistant.  (Gizmo China, Ubergizmo, Win Future, Sohu)

Xiaomi has announced that it would add Google Assistant compatibility to 3 smart home products and officially bring them to the US. The Mi Bedside Lamp and Mi LED Smart Bulb can both display up to 16M colors, with voice assistant support to control brightness and color temperature. The Mi Smart Plug, meanwhile, adds Wi-Fi control. (Gizmo China, CNET, Mi.com, Android Authority, The Verge, Caijing, iGeek)

Bowers & Wilkins has spent the past 5 decades designing cutting-edge audio products, and making big leaps in sound by investing a significant portion of earnings into its world-renowned research and development arm. The company is doubling down on that long-term mission, announcing the opening of a brand-new, 30,000 square-foot research facility that will be called Southwater Research and Engineering. (Digital Trends, PR Newswire, Hidden Wires)

Robotics

Boston Dynamics is showcasing the latest abilities of its synthetic creations. The humanoid robot named Atlas is seen running effortlessly through grassy fields and managing challenging terrain.  (Engadget, Boston Dynamics, Fortune, NBC News, Daily Mail, Sina)

Boston Dynamics is showcasing SpotMini robo-dog that can navigate its way around an office building, climbing and descending a set of stairs with ease, all under its own direction. (Engadget, Boston Dynamics, Fortune, NBC News, Daily Mail, ABC News, Sina)

Google Android co-creator Andy Rubin has indicated that he is not sure if there will be one software platform to rule all robots. (TechCrunch, CNET)

Artificial Intelligence

Michael Kratsios, who is currently in charge of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, has announced that the White House has set up a new task force dedicated to US artificial intelligence efforts. (CN Beta, Bloomberg, The Verge, Geek Wire)

A joint lab utilizing AI in the diagnosis of disease has been established in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. The lab is established by the Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center, the largest hospital of its kind in South China, Tencent and Guangdong Bestway Technology. The companies will help to build the center into an e-hospital based on AI technologies. (CN Beta, ECNS)

E-Commerce

Alibaba Group Holdings moved closer to gaining full control of Ele.me after acquiring Baidu’s stake in China’s most popular food-delivery startup. Baidu has said it sold its 5% stake in Ele.me to Alibaba for USD488M. The exit of Baidu leaves its rivals Alibaba and Tencent Holdings as the dominant forces in China’s white-hot food-delivery market. (CN Beta, Sohu, Tencent, Caixin Global)

Fintech

Huawei is releasing BTC.com’s Bitcoin wallet in its AppGallery, according to Alejandro de la Torre, BTC.com’s VP of business operations. The BTC.com wallet will be the first cryptocurrency app offered by Shenzhen-based Huawei. The AppGallery will be pre-installed on all new Huawei and Honor phones and will be rolled out to older devices in the coming months, he said. (CN Beta, Bloomberg, DCE Brief)

China is reportedly building its own blockchain standard, pushing the building of blockchain standard system from top to bottom level. The country expects to finish this by end of 2019. In fact, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent have begun to deploy blockchain. (JJCKB, CN Beta)

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