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09-18: U.S. President Donald Trump has formally announced the imposition of tariffs on an additional roughly USD200B in Chinese goods; Samsung allegedly plans to eliminate the Samsung Galaxy J Line; etc.

Touch Display

ZTE nubia reportedly is launching a new smartphone featuring dual display—front display is completely bezeless, and rear display is full-coloured and larger than 4”.  It also features side-mounted fingerprint scanner. (Phone Arena, Weibo, GizChina, My Drivers)

Storage

SK Hynix’s subsidiary KLEVV has introduced its new client SSDs based on the manufacturer’s 72-layer 3D NAND flash. The KLEVV NEO N500 drives are aimed at entry-level desktops and laptops that accept SATA drives. The NEO N500 are based on Silicon Motion’s SM2258XT controller as well as SK Hynix’s 72-layer 3D TLC NAND memory.  (CN Beta, AnandTech, KLEVV)

Gigabyte has launched into the NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD market. These eschew any sub-branding and are simply known as Gigabyte NVMe PCIe M.2 SSDs. Gigabyte says that the ”initial batch of GIGABYTE M.2 SSDs are available in three capacities, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB”. (My Drivers, CN Beta, Hexus, Gigabyte)

Phone

Samsung allegedly plans to eliminate the Samsung Galaxy J Line. The Samsung Galaxy A line might be expanded to include more products with more competitive features. A new line — the Samsung Galaxy M series — will likely arrive to replace the online-only Galaxy On series. (Android Headlines, Android Authority, ET News, Phone Arena)

DJ Koh, CEO of the mobile division of Samsung, has said that the changes in the design of the Galaxy S10 will be “very significant”. Koh also mentioned that the Galaxy S10 will be offered in “amazing” colors. (GizChina, TechRadar, Forbes, People.com)

According to Counterpoint Research, global handset profits grew 4% annually in 2Q18 mainly due to Chinese brands, which were aggressive with their flagship offerings. Their combined profits crossed USD2B for the first time, contributing to almost 1/5 of the total handset profits. (GizChina, Gizmo China, Counterpoint Research, blog, iFeng)

Huawei VP and rotating CEO Ken Hu reveals that Huawei will launch a 5G smartphone in mid-2019. He indicates that since 5G standard is confirmed in Jun 2018, Huawei has already signed collaboration contracts with more than 50 partners. (My Drivers, Sina, East Money, GizChina)

China Wingtech Communications has announced that it intends to increase the capital of the shareholding subsidiary Hefei Zhong Wen Jin Tai Semiconductor Investment by CNY5,852.5M, gaining the latter’s controlling interest and holding Nexperia in an indirect manner. (Laoyaoba, Sina, Reuters CN, SemiMedia)

iVoomi sub-brand Innelo 1 is launched in India – 5.86” 720×1520 HD+ 2.5D, MediaTek MT6737H, rear 13MP + front 5MP, 2GB+16GB, Android 8.1, 3000mAh, INR7,499. (91Mobiles, Mobile Indian)

Wearables

Huami is launching AMAZFIT Verge smartwatch, featuring circular 1.3” 360×360 AMOLED, dual-core processor, 512MB RAM. It has built-in GPS, heart-rate sensor, NFC for mobile payments via AliPay. It is priced at CNY799. (CN Beta, iFanr, My Drivers, GSM Arena, PR Newswire)

Withings unveils hybrid smartwatch Steel HR Sport watch, featuring an analog interface and built-in heart-rate monitor similar to its predecessor. It will also now ship with “connected GPS” as well. It promises “up to” 25 days under normal usage, and water resistance up to 50 meters (5ATM). (VentureBeat, CN Beta, 9to5Google, The Verge)

Home

Amazon reportedly plans to release at least 8 new Alexa-powered devices before the end of 2018. The new devices include a microwave oven, amplifier, receiver, subwoofer, and an in-car gadget. It reflects Amazon’s ambition to make its Alexa voice assistant ubiquitous, especially in areas where people spend most of their time, like the home and car. (CN Beta, Digital Trends, Neowin, CNBC, The Verge)

Marshall has announced Amazon Alexa-powered versions of its Stanmore and Acton speakers are UK-bound, known as the Stanmore II Voice and Acton II Voice, which are priced at GBP269 and GBP349, respectively. (Pocket-Lint, What Hi-Fi, Marshall, Trusted Reviews, Baijiahao)

Automotive

Volkswagen Auto Group plans to sell 10M electric vehicles (EVs) based on its modular electric drive matrix (MEB) across all its brands during the “first wave”. It hopes to have sold 150K electric cars in total by 2020, 100K of which will be 100K I.D. models produced in Germany. (Engadget, Volkswagen, Sina, East Money)

Audi is partnering with Amazon and VW Group unit Electrify America as Audi prepares to deliver its first all-electric SUV to U.S. dealerships in 2019. The Audi e-tron kicks off the German automaker’s electric vehicle ambitions. The e-tron is the first of 3 battery-electric vehicles that Audi plans to debut by 2020. (TechCrunch, Geek Wire, The Verge, Reuters, CN Beta, Sina)

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Google have announced a technology partnership to embed the Android operating system in vehicles sold by the world’s leading automotive alliance, providing intelligent infotainment and customer focused-applications across multiple models and brands, scheduled to start in 2021. (VentureBeat, Renault, Sina, Baijiahao)

Artificial Intelligence

Base10 Partners has announced the launch of a USD137M fund to invest in early-stage startups that will use AI to change industries by empowering workers instead of automating them out of jobs. The prime directive of the debut fund will be to back companies in industries— what managing partner Adeyemi Ajao calls “automation for the real economy” and “solving problems for 99% of people.” (VentureBeat, TechCrunch, Baijiahao)

Machines will overtake humans in terms of performing more tasks at the workplace by 2025 — but there could still be 58M net new jobs created in the next 5 years, says the World Economic Forum (WEF). Developments in automation technologies and artificial intelligence could see 75M jobs displaced, according to the WEF report “The Future of Jobs 2018”. (CN Beta, World Economic Forum, report, CNBC, Internet of Business)

Greenhouse Software, the fastest-growing enterprise talent acquisition suite, and IBM are partnering together. Joint users can now harness the power of Watson to make the job search and application process more streamlined, supported by Watson Talent’s analytics and search capabilities. This partnership with IBM Watson Talent empowers talent professionals to drive candidate engagement with a personalized interactive discussion to recommend the right open roles within an organization based on exact skills, experiences and career aspirations. (VentureBeat, PR Newswire, HR Tech China)

Economy

U.S. President Donald Trump has formally announced the imposition of tariffs on an additional roughly USD200B in Chinese goods — the latest escalation in his trade war with China. The tariffs notably omit one category of products that was expected to create holiday sales issues for Apple and rivals in the nascent wearable electronics space. (VentureBeat, BBC News, Business Insider, SCMP, WSJ, San Andreas Times, Reuters, Caixin, Epoch Times)

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