06-06: MediaTek has announced that its first 5G modem “Helio M70” would be ready for commercial deployment in 2019; Tianma Microelectronics will invest CNY14.5B (USD2.3B) to expand its flexible screen displays production line by 25%; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 850, a new chipset made exclusively for Windows PCs. It is a 20% increase in both battery life and gigabit LTE speeds. Thanks to the new X20 modem, Qualcomm can now boast LTE speeds of up to 1.2Gbps, as well as increasing throughput in areas with a weaker cellular signal.  (Android Authority, Android Headlines, Digital Trends, CN Beta)

Qualcomm is asking the European Union’s General Court to strike down or substantially reduce a EUR997M (USD1.2B) antitrust fine over payments made to Apple to ensure only its chips were used in iPhones and iPads. (Android Headlines, Reuters, Bloomberg, Official Journal of The European Union, Sina, Tencent)

MediaTek has announced that its first 5G modem “Helio M70” would be ready for commercial deployment in 2019. The president Joe Chen has revealed that some of the partners are Nokia, NTT Docomo and Huawei. (Laoyaoba, China Times, Yahoo, Economic Times, 91Mobiles)

According to iMedia Research, in 2017 China integrated circuit (IC) production volume reached 156.46B units, a 18.7% growth on year. With the country putting more focus on the IC industry, and the investment from the corporations and institutes has increased, the IC production volume has increased quickly in China. In 2017 top 10 IC ranking, Spreadtrum RDA and Huawei HiSilicon are among them. (iMedia Research, report, Laoyaoba)

Touch Display

Tianma Microelectronics will invest CNY14.5B (USD2.3B) to expand its flexible screen displays production line by 25%. The LCD maker will pump up its capacity to make more of the Gen-6 low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) displays, with the capabilities of active matrix organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology. (Laoyaoba, iFeng, Tencent, Yicai Global)

Biometrics

Alibaba’s OS, AliOS currently is researching and developing automotive facial recognition user applications. By using the in-car camera system to recognize the driver, building a FACE ID with the driver’s account, the automotive system can remember the driver’s favourites, historical tracks, etc. thus providing a customized driving experience. (CN Beta, Leiphone, Sina)

Connectivity

Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio has started hiring a team of professionals who would be working under Akash Ambani to work on artificial intelligence (AI) for the company. (GizBot, Live Mint, Economic Times)

Phone

Carl Ngo Co-founder and CEO of Vietnamese phone maker Mobiistar has revealed that the company is planning to launch 5 more devices by end of 2018. Mobiistar has entered the Indian market with the launch of XQ Dual and CQ, priced at INR7,999 and INR4,999 respectively. (GizBot)

Apple is introducing iOS 12 – upgraded performance, augmented reality ARKit 2, new Photos app with enhanced object / scene recognition, Shortcuts to Siri, Life features to improve user’s device use habits, Memoji, Group FaceTime. (Liliputing, GizChina, Apple Insider, Apple Insider, CN Beta)

Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed, with payments to developers expected to pass the USD100B barrier within the next few days. The company also announced the App Store is currently serving over 500M visitors each week. (Apple Insider, 163)

TF International Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo forecasts that Apple will adopt a more aggressive price policy for the following reasons: (1) concern over the negative impact of a higher price in a mature smartphone market on selling momentum, (2) improved cost structure, which is mainly attributed to assembly yield improvements of end product and 3D sensing and cost reduction of components, and (3) increasing users of Face ID benefiting the promotion of the Apple service and ecosystem. (MacRumors, Laoyaoba, report)

ZTE Corp has allegedly signed an agreement in principle that would lift a U.S. Commerce Department ban on buying from U.S. suppliers, allowing the company to get back into business. The preliminary deal includes a USD1B fine against ZTE plus USD400M in escrow to cover any future violations. (CN Beta, Reuters, SCMP)

ASUS ROG phone is announced – 6” 2160×1080 FHD+ 90Hz refresh rate AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, rear dual 12MP-8MP + front 8MP, 8GB+512GB, Android 8.1, dual front-facing stereo speakers, 4000mAh. (GizChina, Android Headlines, PC World, Talk Android, CN Beta)

Lenovo Z5 is launched – 6.2” 2240×1080 FHD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, rear dual 16MP-8MP + front 8MP, 6GB + 64 / 128GB, ZUI 4.0 (Android 8.1), rear fingerprint, 3300mAh 18W fast charging, from CNY1299. (CN Beta, Gizmo China, GSM Arena, Lenovo, Liliputing)

Lenovo K5 Note (2018) is official – 6” 720×1440 HD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, rear dual 16MP-2MP + front 8MP, 3GB+32GB / 4GB+64GB, ZUI 4.0 (Android 8.1), 3760mAh, from CNY799. (Gizmo China, CN Beta, Android Authority)

Lenovo A5 is official – 5.45” 720×1440 HD+, MediaTek MT6739, rear 13MP + front 8MP, 3GB + 16 / 32GB, ZUI 3.9 (Android 8.1), 4000mAh, from CNY599. (Android Authority, GSM Arena, NDTV, Gizmo China)

PC / Tablet

Sharp reportedly plans to acquire Toshiba’s money-losing personal computer business for an estimated JPY5B (USD45.6B), set to re-enter a market it withdrew from 8 years ago. The Osaka-based electronics maker hopes to build on the expertise of parent Hon Hai Precision Industry, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer also known as Foxconn. (Laoyaoba, CN Beta, Reuters, Japan Times, Asia Nikkei)

HP has increased its planned job cuts to 4,500 to 5,000 employees by the end of fiscal 2019, or as many as 1,000 more than the company had estimated as part of a reorganization unveiled almost 2 years ago. (CN Beta, Bloomberg)

Wearables

Worldwide shipments of wearable devices grew 1.2% during 1Q18 as shipments reached 25.1M units according to IDC. Growth for the market was far lower than the 18% year-over-year growth one year ago largely due to the 9.2% decline in shipments of basic wearables. During the same period, higher priced smart wearables from the likes of Apple, Fitbit, and numerous fashion brands grew 28.4% as consumer preferences continued to shift towards smarter devices. (IDC, press, CN Beta)

Fitbit has revealed that it has shipped ‘more than’ 1M Versa smartwatches in the 6 weeks since it went on sale 16 Apr 2018.  (Engadget, Fitbit)

Apple introduces watchOS 5 – fitness challenge, Walkie-Talkie, Siri Watch Face, improved Notifications, Automatic Workout detection, and other upcoming features. (Apple Insider, GSM Arena, Phone Arena, My Drivers)

ASUS has unveiled a new health-focused wearable designed to accurately measuring and tracking blood pressure—VivoWatch BP. The device includes grade ECG (electrocardiography) and PPG (optical) sensors in a metal nub on its front face, with the former collecting raw electrical data from the user’s heart, and the latter measuring their pulse. (GizChina, Android Central, CN Beta)

Marc Jacobs Riley Touchscreen is announced – 1.19” AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100, 512MB+4GB, heart rate sensor, IP67 rated, USD295. (Phone Arena, Android Headlines, GSM Arena, Target, Marc Jacobs, CN Beta)

Lenovo Watch X and Explorer Edition are announced – OLED display, six sensors (barometer, blood pressure sensor, heart rate sensor, gyroscope, gravity sensor, and geomagnetic sensor),Bluetooth 5.0 LE, 600mAh, 80m water resistance, from CNY299. (GizChina, Lenovo, NDTV, Gizmo China, Mobile Indian, Anzhuo, My Drivers)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Samsung’s Gear VR range could be rebranded to Galaxy VR. Rumor comes weeks after Samsung-owned trademarks emerged for Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Fit. (Android Headlines, Android Authority, Sam Mobile)

Artificial Intelligence

Mozilla has announced a USD225K fund to help art and advocacy projects which are looking at the impacts of AI on society. Individual awards from Mozilla will have a maximum cap of USD50K and are made at the discretion of award reviewers and Mozilla staff.  (CN Beta, Neowin, Mozilla)

A.I.-derived business insight provider Anodot has announced that Waze will integrate its autonomous analytics system throughout the community-based traffic and navigation app. Anodot’s machine learning system will beef up Waze users’ driving experience by detecting and reacting to user-reported abnormalities and problems. (Digital Trends, PR Newswire)

Automotive

Tesla’s head of worldwide sales, Robin Ren, revealed that the company plans to build its first factory outside of the U.S. in Shanghai. Unlike Tesla’s first American factories, Tesla’s new so-called “Dreadnought” factories should produce both batteries and assemble vehicles in one place, CEO and chairman Elon Musk said.  (CN Beta, Laoyaoba, CNBC, Channel News Asia)

Fintech

Samsung SDS has unveiled a new blockchain-based finance platform, dubbed Nexfinance. The platform will offer services such as digital identity, finance concierge, artificial intelligence (AI) virtual assistant, and automatic insurance payment. Samsung SDS said the platform will help financial institutes and companies with their digital transformation securely. (CN Beta, ZDNet, Econo Times)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.