05-28: Mr Ma indicates that the Far Eastern country “should pay more attention to fundamental scientific research” and “must not lose vigilance”; etc.

Chipsets

Tencent Holdings Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pony Ma sees ZTE’s recent episode in the United States as a “wake-up” call for China chip industry which remains highly reliant on American imports. Mr. Ma said that while ZTE’s stateside troubles have now seemingly been resolved, the Far Eastern country “should pay more attention to fundamental scientific research” and “must not lose vigilance”. (Android Headlines, CN Beta, Reuters)

Samsung has unveiled plans for its 7LPP (7nm Low Power Plus), 5LPE (5nm Low Power Early), 4LPE/LPP (4nm Low Power Early/Plus) and 3GAAE/GAAP (3nm Gate-All-Around Early/Plus) process technologies. The company also demonstrated efforts to develop high-performance computing and connected device solutions. (Digitimes, press, Phone Arena, My Drivers, EEPW, EE World)

According to Chris Lott, an artificial intelligence (AI) researcher at Qualcomm, the company is working on a new voice recognition program. The system, which works locally on a smartphone or other portable device, comprises 2 kinds of neural networks: a recurrent neural network (RNN), which uses its internal state, or memory, to process inputs, and a convolutional neural network, a neural network that mimics the connectivity pattern between neurons in the human brain. On average, it is 95% capable of recognizing words and phrases. (Laoyaoba, VentureBeat)

Camera

Apple is allegedly to adopt 3D sensors for its iPhone’s rear camera to enhance AR experience in 2019, in particular the ToF is the main sensing technology. However, according to Deutsche Bank, Apple might use triple camera to replace ToF. Apple’s main camera module suppliers include, Largan, Sony, Sharp, LG Innotek and Alps. (UDN, CN Beta, Sina)

Japanese manufacturer Olympus has shut down its digital camera production in China due to shrinking demand. The company has halted operations at its plant in the southern city of Shenzhen. Olympus staff say the plant’s facilities have aged after more than 20 years of operation. They added that its operation rate has also declined due to stiff competition from smartphone cameras. (CN Beta, Global Times, NHK)

Memory

Nvidia has signed a big chip deal with SK Hynix, putting the South Korean memory manufacturing giant in line for a large slice of Nvidia’s future financial successes with AI and data centre sales. SK Hynix confirmed that its speedy GDDR6 memory modules were available for purchase earlier in the year, and this memory standard has been the most likely candidate to power Nvidia’s next gaming cards for some time. (TechNews, PC Games N, Financial Times, Reuters)

Connectivity

Apple has introduced the so-called CoreNFC framework with iOS 11 that allowed third-party apps to access the NFC chip but it is still very limiting. Apple is expected to expand the NFC capabilities of its iPhones beyond mobile payments, allowing users to securely unlock doors equipped with the technology with its iOS 12. (GSM Arena, The Information, iFanr, IT Home, Mac Rumors)

Phone

With the support from the local government, Elephone is opening its own factory in Luzhou.  The total investment has reached over CNY200M and the company is expanding partnerships with big names like Qualcomm, Samsung, and BOE who have already cooperated on the flagship Elephone U Pro.  (GizChina, Gizmo China, Baijiahao)

According to Counterpoint Research, the global feature phone market grew 38% annually in 1Q18, driven by strong shipments of Reliance JioPhone in India and the return of Nokia HMD. India alone contributed to almost 43% of the total feature phone shipments in 1Q18. Reliance JioPhone became the best-selling feature phone model in 1Q18, Jio was also the best-selling feature phone brand. It was followed by Nokia HMD, iTel, Samsung and Tecno which formed the list of the top 5 brands. (Counterpoint Research, Laoyaoba)

According to Mohandeep Singh, Senior Vice-President, Mobile Business, Samsung India, the company has “extremely aggressive plans” for India and is well-prepared to handle the competition from the Chinese brands. He also said Samsung is not just focusing on bringing the prices down to tackle the competition. (Android Headlines, Sam Mobile, Economic Times, Huanqiu)

Huawei Honor 7S is launched in Pakistan – 5.45” 720×1440 HD+, MediaTek MT6739, rear 13MP + front 5MP, 2GB+16GB, Android 8.1, Face Unlock, no fingerprint, 3020mAh, PKR14,499 (USD125). (GizChina, GSM Arena, NDTV, Honor)

Huawei Enjoy 8e Youth Edition is launched in China – – 5.45” 720×1440 HD+, MediaTek MT6739, rear 13MP + front 5MP, 2GB+32GB, Android 8.1, Face Unlock, no fingerprint, 3020mAh, CNY799. (GizChina, Huawei, My Drivers)

Automotive

Ride-hailing firm Grab has officially launched its food delivery business — GrabFood. GrabFood is available as a standalone app in Singapore, but in countries where Grab offers motorbikes on-demand the service is integrated into the core Grab app. The service will compete against the likes of Deliveroo, FoodPanda, Go-Jek’s GoFood, and others. (TechCrunch, CN Beta)

E-Commerce

Amazon appears to be restarting its funding efforts in India after Acko, the digital insurance startup in India, confirmed that the Amazon led a new round of funding for its business. Amazon has led a USD12M funding round for Acko alongside Ashish Dhawan, the founder of PE firm ChrysCapital, and existing backer Catamaran Ventures. The deal takes Acko to USD42M raised to date. (TechCrunch, Economic Times, Live Mint, 36Kr, iFeng)

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