07-31: Xiaomi and OPPO are aiming to launch their own versions as early as 2019; Samsung is reportedly planning to give its next Galaxy A series device a triple-camera and an in-display fingerprint sensor; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm Senior Director of Product Management, Miguel Nunes, has revealed that the company is working on a solution to address the issue of power consumption on dual-screen devices, which are running on the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system. (CN Beta, Digit, Indian Express)

The cellular baseband processor market grew 0.3% to USD4.9B in 1Q18, according to Strategy Analytics. QualcommSamsung LSI, MediaTek, HiSilicon and UNISOC (Spreadtrum & RDA) captured the top-five revenue share rankings in the global cellular baseband processor market in Q1 2018. (CN Beta, Telecom Lead)

Softbank-owned ARM Holdings is buying US-based data analytics start-up Treasure Data for USD600M as part of its push into the Internet of Things (IoT). Tresure Data, which is based in Mountain View, California, develops products to help companies analyse data for marketing and other purposes, such as dealing with a surge in data from a product launch or unifying information from sensors. (Laoyaoba, The Inquirer, Bloomberg, Telegraph)

Touch Display

With the pending debut of Samsung Electronics’ first foldable phone, Xiaomi and OPPO are having a series of meetings with Korean parts makers aiming to launch their own versions as early as 2019. (CN Beta, Android Headlines, Ubergizmo, ET News, The Investor)

BOE Technology and partners plan to boost capital of industry investment firm by CNY570M (USD83.58M). The capital is mainly for technology service, integrated circuit equipments, and IoT smart terminal supply chain. In the future it would be extended into other segments including cultural innovation and new energy. (Laoyaoba, Yicai, JRJ, Yahoo)

Storage

SK Hynix plans to invest KRW3.5T (USD3.1B) to build a semiconductor plant. SK hynix has decided to build a factory at its headquarters in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. The company will begin construction of the fab in late 2018 and expects to complete the fab in Oct 2020. At present SK Hynix is upgrading its M14 fab in South Korea, buidling a new DRAM/3D NAND fab near Cheongju (South Korea), and expanding its C2 fab in Wuxi, China. (CN Beta, Pulse News, EET Asia, Korea Times, AnandTech)

Sensory

Samsung has recently filed a patent for an app that will detect a user’s skin tone using a smartphone’s camera. The app shown in the patent application seems to be focused on giving users tips to avoid sunburns and other environmental hazards. It works by sorting users into one of six predetermined skin types based on how fair or tanned their skin is, along with considerations for pigmentation issues, wounds and other abnormalities. (CN Beta, Android Headlines)

Biometrics

Samsung is reportedly planning to give its next Galaxy A series device a triple-camera and an in-display fingerprint sensor. Samsung may use optical technology for the in-display fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy A series phone. (GizChina, NDTV, Android Authority, ET News)

According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, biometrics, multiple-camera and 5G would be 3 main technology trends in 2019. In particular, biometrics is the very critical focus, in which he especially is positive with in- / under-display fingerprint. He forecasts that in- / under-display fingerprint smartphone shipment would grow more than 500% annually, and Foxconn’s subsidy General Interface Solution (GIS) is believed to the main winner. (Laoyaoba, CN Beta, UDN, CTEE)

Connectivity

T-Mobile and Nokia have announced a USD3.5B deal that will see Nokia provide T-Mobile with “complete end-to-end 5G technology, software, and services” as the carrier continues to build out its 5G infrastructure. Nokia will help build T-Mobile’s 5G network on both the 600 MHz and 28 GHz millimeter wave portions of the spectrum, in accordance with the 3GPP’s 5G New Radio (NR) standards. (CN Beta, The Verge, T-Mobile, CNET)

Ericsson and LG Electronics have renewed a global patent license agreement on FRAND terms and conditions between the two companies. Ericsson and LG are two of the leading contributors to the GSM (2G), UMTS (3G), and LTE (4G) cellular communication standards and both companies are making significant investments in the development of the NR (5G) standard. The agreement includes a cross license that covers patents relating to both companies’ 2G, 3G, and 4G standard-essential patents. (Laoyaoba, PR Newswire)

Phone

BlackBerry brand licensee Optiemus Infracom reveals that the company will launch 2 BlackBerry phones in India soon, which may be named Evolve and Evolve X. (CN Beta, NDTV, Hindustan Times)

Chinese smartphones maker UMIDIGI has partnered with Nigeria’s number 1 online store Jumia. UMIDIGI is releasing their latest smartphones, namely S2Lite, A1 Pro and Z2, first on Jumia for the Nigerian market.  (Gizmo China, GizChina)

HMD’s Nokia phones have a limited presence in the US – a few mid-range to entry-level phones – but LinkedIn postings reveal that the company wants to hire a new team to help it grow. (WCCFTech, GSM Arena, Linkedin, Business Standard, Laoyaoba)

UBS analysts say that any decline in the number of Apple iPhone in 2Q18, will be more than made up by sales of its highest price phone,  iPhone X. A recent study done by CIRP found that 26% of Apple consumers paid more than USD900 for their phones in Mar 2018. That was sharply higher than the 5% that paid USD900 and up for their phones during 2017.  (GizChina, Phone Arena, The Street, Business Insider)

Logitech has agreed to acquire Blue Microphones, the hardware company behind popular podcasting microphones like the Yeti and Snowball, for USD117M in cash. (Android Central, Logitech, The Verge, TechCrunch, Baijiahao, TMT Post)

Sky Li, former VP of OPPO and head of overseas business has officially resigned from OPPO and founded a new technology brand Realme. Realme is focusing on Rs 10000-20000 price range with its products for the India market. The brand has gained over 1% share in 2Q18 with 1 month’s sales in India, amount to 400K units, as per Counterpoint Research. (Laoyaoba, iFeng, Sohu, My Drivers, TechNode, Economic Times)

The face-off between Apple and the telecom regulator could end soon, with the company ready with an alternative solution. The company has sent a note to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that its new iOS 12, will make it possible for developers to create apps which will comply with the Indian regulations of Do Not Disturb (DND). (Business Standard, CNBC, Financial Express, Laoyaoba)

According to Counterpoint Research, the premium smartphone segment (>INR 30,000) grew 19% annually and 10% sequentially during 2Q18 as more consumers upgrade to 2018 flagship launches by different Android OEMs in India.  The top 3 brands Samsung, OnePlus and Apple contributed to 88% of the overall premium market as compared to 95% a quarter ago. (Android Authority, Counterpoint Research, press, iFanr, Tencent)

Automotive

Uber is shifting resources away from the self-driving truck unit within its Advanced Technologies Group.  For the time being, it is ceasing development on the autonomous freight platform it acquired from autonomous tech company Otto. (Sohu, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Money DJ, TechNews)

Artificial Intelligence

Loup Ventures has asked Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Microsoft Cortana 800 questions each. This time, Google Assistant was able to answer 86% of them correctly vs. Siri at 79%, Alexa at 61%, and Cortana at 52%. (Loup Ventures, press, My Drivers)

Payment

Juniper Research estimates that driven by payment cards and mobile wallets, in-store contactless payments will reach USD2T by 2020, representing 15% of the total point of sale transactions. Contactless payments will exceed the USD1T mark for the first time in 2018. Consequently, Juniper forecasts that OEM Pay wallets will enable over USD300B in transactions by 2020, representing 15% of the total contactless in-store transactions. (TechCrunch, Business Wire, Sina, Tencent)

Economy

Tencent has tumbled 25% from its Jan 2018 peak, erasing about USD140B of market value. That is the biggest wipeout of shareholder wealth worldwide, as measured from the date of each stock’s 52-week high. Facebook is the second-biggest loser with a USD136B  slump over the past 3 trading sessions. (My Drivers, CN Beta, Bloomberg)

Fintech

The billionaire Mike Novogratz funded cryptocurrency-focused merchant bank, Galaxy Digital LP, will start trading on Toronto’s TSX Venture Exchange. It should be a triumphant moment for the former Goldman Sachs partner and a milestone for the industry.  (CN Beta, CCN, Bloomberg, Bitcoinist, Bitcoin Exchange Guide)

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