07-27: Apple likely will not use its cellular modems in the next iPhone; Huawei is planning to roll out the first foldable handset with a flexible screen ahead of its bigger rival Samsung; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm Chief Financial Officer George Davis said Apple likely will not use its cellular modems in the next iPhone. Almost a year after it was reported Apple could drop Qualcomm modems in future products, Qualcomm has finally acknowledged the rumor and is gearing up for the loss. (CN Beta, The Verge, CNBC, Bloomberg)

Qualcomm has said it would drop its USD44B bid for NXP Semiconductors after failing to secure regulatory approval from China against a backdrop of widening trade tensions. (CN Beta, The Verge, Reuters, Bloomberg)

Samsung has designed a mobile graphics processor that it claims in simulations delivers leading performance/watt. The GPU sports a novel architecture that could make it broadly useful from smartphones to supercomputers, according to an analyst briefed on the work. (Laoyaoba, Techspot, EE Times, GFX Speak)

Touch Display

LG Display (LGD), a supplier to Apple, has reduced by USD2.7B the amount it plans to invest by 2020, blaming an uncertain outlook for the global smartphone market. LGD’s net loss widened to KRW300.5B in 2Q18 from a KRW49B loss in the previous quarter, reversing from a net profit of KRW736.7B in the same quarter a year earlier. Second-quarter sales fell 15.4% to KRW5.6T. (Laoyaoba, China Times, LTN, Financial Times, 9to5Mac, Apple Insider)

The Looking Glass is a new type of glasses-free 3D display that offers offers holographic imagery that can see items from different angles. It uses light-field and volumetric display technology to show 45 different vies simultaneously at 60fps.  (Liliputing, Laoyaoba, Feld, The Verge)

Samsung Display has announced that its recently-developed, unbreakable smartphone panel has just been certified by UL (Underwriters Laboratories), an official testing company for OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor. (Android Central, Samsung, OfWeek, IT Xinwen, iFanr)

According to Yuanta Investment Consulting analyst Jeff Pu, Huawei is planning to roll out the first foldable handset with a flexible screen ahead of its bigger rival Samsung. The premium foldable smartphone will use a flexible organic lighting-emitting diode (OLED) display manufactured by panel supplier BOE Technology. Huawei’s planned volume could be limited to some 20K~30K units, or even less, for a small group of first-wave adopters. (Android Authority, Asia Nikkei, Laoyaoba, OfWeek)

Storage

Samsung has announced that it has begun mass producing the industry’s first 2nd-generation of 10-nanometer-class* (1y-nm), LPDDR4X (Low Power, Double Data Rate, 4X) DRAM to improve the efficiency and lower the battery drain of today’s premium smartphones and other mobile applications. (CN Beta, ZDNet, Samsung)

China’s top state chip manufacturer Tsinghua Unigroup has signed a deal to acquire French smart chip components maker Linxens for about EUR2.2B (USD2.6B). Tsinghua has already locked in a deal with four banks for a EUR1.5B (USD1.75B) bridge loan to fund the transaction. Linxens designs and manufactures chips for the fast-growing security and identity markets. (Laoyaoba, Reuters, Financial Times, SCMP)

Biometrics

Q Technology, a China-based smartphone-use lens module maker, has made breakthroughs in developing structured-light 3D scanning and in-display fingerprint-recognition modules, and is ready to start volume production. Q Tech has obtained orders for over 1M structured-light 3D scanning modules from a China-based smartphone vendor and orders for over 7M in-display fingerprint-recognition modules from another China smartphone vendor. (Laoyaoba, UDN, Ming Pao, Digitimes, press)

Phone

China has reportedly withdrawn its approval for Facebook’s plan to open a venture in the eastern province of Zhejiang. A Chinese government database showed that Facebook had gained approval to open a subsidiary, but the registration has since disappeared. (Android Headlines, Reuters, Reuters CN)

Smartphone shipments in China bounced back to above 100M in 2Q18, providing much needed relief to vendors and channel partners after a difficult 1Q18, when shipments fell by more than 20% to 91M units. Huawei (including Honor) grew its market share to a record 27%, the biggest share for any smartphone vendor in China since 2Q11. Huawei also broke the record for the greatest number of shipments into the channel by any vendor, at 28.5M units. (Canalys, CN Beta)

According to Counterpoint Research, the smartphone market returned to double digit growth (18%) YoY after flat 1Q18 growth in 2Q18. The feature phone market continues to outpace the smartphone market with a YoY growth of 21%. Samsung regained its lead in 2Q18 with 29% market share thanks to strong performance of models such as Galaxy J6, Galaxy J2 2018 and Galaxy J4 focusing on the budget segment. (GizChina, GSM Arena, Counterpoint Research, blog, Laoyaoba)

Avi Greengart, Research Director, Consumer Platforms & Devices at GlobalData, comments: ZTE’s smartphone business is heavily dependent on sales through US carriers. The US Commerce Department has lifted the Denial Order, but ZTE is not out of the woods yet – political pressure will continue. To stay on US carrier shelves, ZTE will have to make structural changes to ensure that carriers can deflect any political pressure from US security agencies and Congress. (GSM Arena, Global Data)

Google is ready to add an eighth platform with over 1B users to its portfolio. The cloud service Drive is joining the elite team of Gmail, Chrome, Maps, YouTube, Android, and Play Store. (GSM Arena, TechCrunch, 163)

Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley estimates that Apple will announce 39.8M iPhone units sold in its 3Q18, with its services sector growing by 32%. Even if the LCD model is delayed, Huberty is still expecting 90M iPhones to be produced in 2H18 for the launch of the device. (Apple Insider, Laoyaoba)

Spotify has announced that it had reached 83M paid subscribers, which represents an increase of 8M members since May 2018. This is toward the high end of what investors were hoping for, and keeps Apple Music (which at last count, had about 40M paid subscribers) at bay. (Digital Trends, WSJ, Sina)

Huawei Technologies will increase its annual spending on research and development (R&D) to USD15B~20B, as it races to be a global leader in 5G technology. Huawei, which previously pledged to invest USD10B~20B annually on R&D, spent CNY89.7B (USD13.23B) on it in 2017, accounting for 14.9% of its total revenue. (GSM Arena, Reuters, Caijing, Baijiahao)

Coolpad Cool Play 7 is announced – 5.84” 720×1440 HD+, MediaTek MT6750, rear dual 13MP-13MP + front 8MP, 4GB+64GB, Android 8.0,  2800mAh, CNY999. (NDTV, Gizmo China)

PC / Tablet

Panasonic launches Toughbook T1 handheld and Toughbook L1 tablet, powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 210, featuring rear 8MP, 2GB+16GB, Android 8.1, 3200mAh, from USD1499: Toughbook T1 – 5” 1280×720 HD, IP66 / IP68 rated. Toughbook L1 – 7” 1280×720 HD, IP65 / IP67 rated.  (Liliputing)

Automotive

Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicle spin-off, is teaming up with 5 companies, including Walmart, Avis and AutoNation, to offer rides in its self-driving cars in the Phoenix area. The company’s arrangement with Walmart will allow shoppers who buy groceries online to summon a Waymo vehicle to shuttle them to a store to pick up their orders. (Digital Trends, CNN, NPR, NY Times, Medium)

Marvell Technology has announced the grand opening of its automotive electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) lab in North America. The state-of-the-art EMC testing facility is CISPR 25 qualified and provides Marvell with an in-house capability to perform emission, immunity and ESD testing.  (Laoyaoba, Business Insider, PR Newswire)

Home

The European Commission has  announced it is fining 4 consumer electronics manufacturers a total of EUR111M (USD130M) for fixing online resale prices. The 4  companies — Philips, Pioneer, ASUS, and Denon & Marantz — all had their fines reduced due to cooperation with the EU. (Sinchew, Sina, China News, Europe Commission, Reuters, TNW)

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