05-19: Huawei has signed collaboration contract with Japan 3 big operators; Toshiba said it had received “all required antitrust approvals” from China regulators for the deal with Bain Capital; etc.

Chipsets

The supply of MOSFET chips has become sufficient in 2Q18 as international IDMs have moved to scale up their output for entry-level and mid-range devices, according to Digitimes. The supply of some high-end MOSFET chips for automotive remains tight. Nevertheless, IDMs have now managed to fulfill more of their customers’ orders. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba)

According to IC Insights, the top-15 semiconductor companies’ sales surged by 26% in 1Q18 compared to 1Q17, 6 points higher than the total worldwide semiconductor industry 1Q18 / 1Q17 increase of 20%.  Amazingly, the Big 3 memory suppliers—Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron, each registered greater than 40% year-over-year growth in 1Q18. (IC Insights, press, My Drivers, Sohu, Anzhuo, )

Apple is allegedly developing a low-cost version of HomePod, and it will be under its sub-brand Beats. MediaTek is chosen to be the supplier of the chipsets. (UDN, CN Beta)

Touch Display

Japan Display Inc (JDI) aims to nearly double its automotive display sales in 5 years to lessen its dependence on Apple and other smartphone makers, according to the leader of the company’s automotive business, Holger Gerkens. He is confident in achieving YoY growth of over 10% through financial year 2022, outpacing the average market growth of 7%~8%. (TechNews, Money DJ, Reuters, Reuters)

Despite the low seasonality factor and brands turning their focus away from volume growth, the demand for large display panels showed better-than-expected results in 1Q18, albeit still weak, according to IHS Markit. LG Display (LGD) retained its lead in the large display panel market in terms of area shipments with a stake of 22%, followed by Samsung Display with 17%, while, in terms of unit shipments, BOE led the market with a 22% share. (IHS Markit, press, Laoyaoba)

Memory

Toshiba said it had received “all required antitrust approvals” from China regulators for the deal with a consortium led by the United States investment firm Bain Capital. Bain confirmed in its own statement that Chinese authorities had approved the deal. (Apple Insider, NY Times, Toshiba, Bain Capital, TechWeb)

Biometrics

Every movement of pupils at Hangzhou Number 11 High School in eastern China is watched by three cameras positioned above the blackboard. The “smart classroom behaviour management system”, or “smart eye”, is the latest highly-intrusive surveillance equipment to be rolled out in China. (Engadget, The Telegraph, Hangzhou)

Phone

According to Morgan Stanley, Microsoft has a number of factors working in its favor, all of which create a “framework for a USD1T market cap … and beyond.” (CN Beta, Market Watch)

The House Appropriations Committee has unanimously accepted an amendment to an appropriations bill that reinforces sanctions against ZTE, a rebuke to President Trump, who has tweeted support for the company. (Wall Street CN, Laoyaoba, TechCrunch, The Hill)

Huawei is collaborating with Japan operators SoftBank, NTT DoCoMo and AU, signing cooperation contract, indicating the company is entering the Japanese operators market. Operators have 90% of the Japan’s market share, in particular the three aforesaid operators have about 70% market share. (TechNews, Bloomberg, Sohu, Tencent)

More than 70,000 people pre-ordered LG G7 ThinQ in South Korea since it is launched on 11 May 2018. Last year, LG said that around 40,000 people pre-ordered the LG G6 in the 4 days after pre-order sales started in the home market. (My Drivers, WCCF Tech, Android Authority, ET News)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster believes that Apple could release an augmented reality (AR) wearable in 2021. He predicts that ‘Apple Glasses’ predicted to sell over 10M units in its first year. Using an anticipated average selling price (ASP) of $USD,300, the fabled headwear could yield USD13B in the first year, accounting for 3% of Apple’s full-year revenue in 2022. (Apple Insider, Loup Ventures, press, iFeng)

Google is reportedly at work on a standalone augmented reality (AR) headset. The headset is reportedly being referred to as “Google A65”. Google is working with Quanta, the maker of the Pixel C tablet, to manufacture the headset. (Gizmo China, Winfuture, XDA-Developers, TechRadar, Pocket Now, Sohu, Elecfans)

Intel and Turner Sports will air every NBA Western Conference Finals matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets in virtual reality (VR), powered by Intel True VR, via the NBA on TNT VR App, presented by Cisco. (Intel, Laoyaoba)

Home

According to Strategy Analytics, global smart speaker shipments reached 9.2M units in 1Q18. Amazon is estimated to have shipped 4M smart speakers during the quarter though its global market share has nearly halved from the same period in 2017. Google and Alibaba consolidated their number 2 and 3 rankings while Apple became the 4th largest smart speaker brand worldwide following the launch of the HomePod in Feb 2018.  (Ubergizmo, Business Wire, Strategy Analytics, press, Sohu, Qianjia)

Automotive

According to Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua, Intel and its subsidiary Mobileye have started testing 100 self-driving cars in Jerusalem. The plan is to deploy the fleet in the U.S. and other regions. Intel / Mobileye hope to demonstrate that its cars are 1,000 times safer than human drivers “without the need for billions of miles of validation testing on public roads”. (TechCrunch, Intel, 163, iFeng)

Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino says Tesla might have to raise as much as USD10B in the next 2 years to cover production costs for the anticipated Model Y, as well a new Gigafactory in China. (CN Beta, Bloomberg, CNBC, Fast Company)

E-Commerce

According to JP Morgan analyst Christopher Horvers, Amazon is on track to match Walmart in domestic sales by 2020 or 2021. He notes that Amazon is growing at a faster pace than Walmart in the US. In 2017, Walmart reported USD495.8B in annual revenue and U.S. sales of USD318.5B (+3.5% YoY). Amazon reported USD186B U.S. gross merchandise volume in 2017 (+31% YoY).  (Android Headlines, CNBC, Seeking Alpha, Retail Dive, China Times, Sohu)

Payment

PayPal has reached a deal to buy payments start-up iZettle for USD2.2B. iZettle provides mobile card readers and other digital payment products to small businesses.  (CN Beta, CNBC, NY Times, WSJ)

Fintech

Ofo has set up a research institute to tackle urban bike sharing management problems with blockchain technology. It aims to use blockchain technology globally to further facilitate big data and IoT. It also plans to launch a rewards system in Singapore where users will receive cryptocurrency tokens for riding. Users can mine Global Sharing Economy (GSE) tokens, issued by GSELab, when they ride Ofo’s bicycles. (Laoyaoba, People.cn, Sohu, STCN, Smartereum, TechNode, SCMP)

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