10-06: Back from break! LG is also making foldable phone; Verizon has officially turned on 5G services in 4 U.S. cities; etc.

Chipsets

According to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Huawei may be the second smartphone producer to use processors made using a 7nm process by TSMC, following Apple’s use of the A12 chip in the iPhone XS, with the designed-in-house Kirin 980 processor thought to be using the same production process as Apple.  (Apple Insider, CN Beta)

According to MLCC industry analysts, 5G will drive the demand for passive electronic components. The average MLCC usage of a 4G smartphones is about 550~900, which is estimated to increase to more than 1,000 in the 5G era. According to Japanese manufacturer statistics, the demand for ultra-small MLCCs for smart phones worldwide is about 376.3B pieces in 2016, it is estimated that the demand will reach 632.5B pieces in 2020. According to MIC, 5M 5G mobile phones will enter the consumer market in 2019, it will enter the high-speed growth in 2021 and expected to reach 1.5B by 2025. (Now News, China News, UDN, Semi Media, Semi Media)

Touch Display

LG Mobile CEO Hwang Jeong-hwan has confirmed the company is working on a foldable phone. Hwang explained that LG is working with its partners to prepare the phone. (Android Authority, Yonhap News, Yesky, Baijiahao)

Sharp will offer OLED panels in its new smartphones later in 2018 and plans to sell the screens to other manufacturers, although it has signaled it is wary about a rapid expansion in OLED as momentum for the thinner but more expensive screens slows. Sharp has so far invested JPY57.4B (USD505M) to produce OLED panels in western Japan, less than a third of the planned JPY200B investment that was announced by Foxconn at the time of its acquisition in 2016. (Reuters, Android Authority, China Times)

Battery

Chongdiantou found out that Apple iPhone XS Max original charger orders have been shared by 3 vendors, namely Yada, Lite-On, and Salcomp. (CN Beta, Chong Dian Tou)

Connectivity

The Ministry of Science and Technology (MIC) of South Korea has noted that 5G commercialization station, terminal testing and Radio Certifications, a base station is required interworking tests between terminals. While they cannot build fixed as 1 Dec 2018 if conditions are met, 5G commercial services will be possible.  (Android Headlines, ET News)

NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank have told a ministry hearing they plan to begin with a limited deployment in 2019, then roll out a full service for smartphones from 2020. NTT DoCoMo has said it will start offering the service for individual users on a full scale from spring 2020. KDDI, which operates the au brand, and Softbank also said it will be made fully available in 2020. (CN Beta, The Japan News, Asahi)

Verizon has officially turned on 5G services in 4 U.S. cities: Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. The company says it has started offering installations of its Verizon 5G Home broadband service today and named Houston resident Clayton Harris as “the first 5G customer in the world”. (VentureBeat, Verizon, Baijiahao)

Phone

Pew Internet suggests that the overall use of Internet-connected devices and related services in U.S. has remained in approximately the same state as was found in 2016. Approximately 95% of U.S. Adults in 2018 own and use cellphones, while 77% claim to own or use smartphones. The recorded results are notably the same values as found in 2016, just as discovered for social media’s usage by 69% of adults.  (Apple Insider, Pew Internet, press, GizChina)

Samsung’s mobile business executives led by Executive Vice President Roh Tae-moon has visited China’s Wingtech, Xiaomi’s original design manufacturing branch, to discuss the possibility of manufacturing Samsung phones at Wingtech’s factory. The first model is rumored Samsung Galaxy A6s. (CN Beta, Gizmo China)

OPPO it is planning to set up its first India research and development (R&D) center in Hyderabad. The Hyderabad R&D Centre will be OPPO’s 7th facility globally with the other six being located in China, Japan and the US.  (CN Beta, Economic Times, Telecom)

Xiaomi is reportedly planning to open its very first Mi Store in the UK. The store will be located at Westfield in London.  (Android Headlines, Xiaomi Today, Sina, My Drivers)

BlackBerry licensee is allegedly working on 2 BlackBerry-branded smartphones that feature secure crypto wallets. These handsets will likely be known as the BlackBerry Evolve and the BlackBerry Evolve X, and Optiemus, a BlackBerry licensee based in India, will manufacture these smartphones. (Android Headlines, Crackberry, Gizbot)

The U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade in Dallas has extended until 2022 the term of a monitor he appointed to assess ZTE’s compliance with U.S. export control laws. The monitorship originally was scheduled to end in 2020. The reason is that ZTE violated its probation. (GSM Arena, Reuters, TechCrunch, VOA Chinese)

Huawei Y9 (2019) is official – 6.5” 1080×2340 FHD+ IPS, HiSilicon Kirin 710, rear dual 16MP-2MP + front 13MP-2MP, 4+64GB / 6+128GB, Android 8.1, rear fingerprint scanner, 4000mAh. (Android Headlines, GSM Arena, Huawei, NDTV)

Nokia 7.1 is announced – 5.84” 2280×1080 FHD+ HDR10, Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, rear dual 12MP-2MP + front 8MP partnered with Zeiss, 3/32GB + 4/64GB, Android 8.1, 3060mAh, from USD349. (Android Authority, Android Headlines, Sohu)

LG V40 ThinQ with 5 cameras is announced – 6.4” 3120×1440 QHD+ OLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, rear tri 12MP (1.4µm)-16MP-12MP + front dual 8MP-5MP, 6+64GB, Android 8.1, IP68 rated, rear fingerprint scanner, 3300mAh, USD900-980. (Android Headlines, Android Central, Android Authority, GSM Arena)

Panasonic launches 2 new devices in India, featuring 6.18” 2246×1080 FHD+ 2.5D, MediaTek Helio P60, rear dual 16MP-5MP + front 16MP, AI Face Unlock, 3000mAh: Eluga X1 – 4+64GB, INR22,990. Eluga X1 Pro – 6+128GB, wireless charging, INR26,990. (GSM Arena, Panasonic, Tech Androids, Android Authority)

Sharp AQUOS zero is announced – 6.2” 2992×1440 QHD+ OLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, rear 24MP + front 8MP, 6+128GB, IP68 rated, rear fingerprint scanner, 3130mAh. (Android Authority, Sharp, GSM Arena)

PC / Tablet

Sharp has completed its acquisition of Toshiba’s personal computer business, Toshiba Client Solutions (TCS), marking a return to the PC business after pulling out 8 years ago. Sharp has obtained 80.1% equity of TCS and officially adopted TCS as its subsidiary. On 5 Jun 2018, Sharp announced that it will acquire TCS at a price of JPY4.05B (USD36M).  (GizChina, Japan Times, Business Wire, My Drivers, CN Beta)

Huawei MediaPad M5 lite is launched –  10.1” 1920×1200 IPS, HiSilicon Kirin 659, rear 8MP + front 8MP, 3+32GB / 4+64GB, Android 8.0, M-Pen lite Stylus, Histen 5.0 sound system, 7500mAh. (GSM Arena, Huawei)

HP Spectre Folio is announced with leather exterior – 13.3” 1920×1080 UHD IPS, Intel Core i5/i7, 8/16GB + 256GB/TB, Windows 10, 54.28Wh, digital pen, LTE optional, Bang & Olufsen quad speakers, USD1300 and up. (Gizmo China, Liliputing, Wired, The Verge, HP, CN Beta)

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is announced – 13.5” 2256×1504 PixelSense Touch Display, Intel Core 8th Gen i5 / i7, 720p front camera, 8/16GB + up to 1TB, Windows 10 Home, Surface Pen, USD999. (CN Beta, Business Insider, CNBC, ZDNet, Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is launched – 12.3” 2736×1824 PixelSense Touch Display, Intel Core 8th Gen i5 / i7, rear 8MP + front 5MP, 8/16GB + up to 1TB, Windows 10 Home, Surface Pen, from USD899. (CN Beta, Microsoft, Trusted Reviews)

Wearables

With Quanta Computer’s capacity for the Apple Watch Series 4 at its factory in Changshu, eastern China fully loaded, the wearable’s second supplier Compal Electronics reportedly will begin mass production of the smartwatch in Nov 2018, according to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. (Digitimes, press, UDN)

HMD is launching Nokia True Wireless Earbuds, offering up to 3.5 hours of audio playback or 4 hours of talk time, but the charging case can give them another 3 full charges, essentially bringing it up to 14 hours of music or 16 hours of talk time. It is priced at EUR129. (Android Headlines, Neowin, IT Home)

LG Watch W7 hybrid smartwatch is announced – 1.2” 360×360 LCD, Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100, 768MB+4GB, Android Wear OS, 9-axis motion sensor, pressure sensor, IP68 rated, 240mAh, USD450. (The Verge, Liliputing, Neowin, CN Beta)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Magic Leap has announced they are acquiring Computes, a decentralized mesh computing startup. Mesh computing offers an attractive future for leveraging the power of grouped systems to push resources to the devices that need it most. (TechCrunch, Magic Leap, Yivian)

STRIVR, one of the VR training startups leading the movement in companies adopting virtual reality to help train employees, has announced they have pulled in USD16M in a new round led by GreatPoint Ventures. The company has raised USD21M to date. (TechCrunch, Road to VR, VR Focus, Sina)

Automotive

Toyota and SoftBank have announced that they are forming a joint venture by April 2019 that will use data to optimize supply and demand in the transportation space. The company, Monet Technologies, will coordinate between Toyota’s information infrastructure for connected vehicles and SoftBank’s so-called Internet of Things platform that collects and analyses data from smartphones and sensors. (CN Beta, CNN, Financial Times, CNBC)

Honda Motor will invest USD2.75B and take a 5.7% stake in General Motors’s (GM) Cruise self-driving vehicle unit, to jointly develop autonomous vehicles for deployment in ride services fleets around the world. (Ubergizmo, CNBC, Reuters, Automotive News, Baijiahao, Tencent)

Fintech

Tencent and global investment firm KKR have agreed to acquire “substantial” minority stakes in Philippine technology firm Voyager that could be worth up to USD175M. Voyager mainly develops fintech platforms, with mobile wallet PayMaya as its most recognizable product. PayMaya lets Filipinos send money, shop and pay bills online, and buy phone credit. (TechCrunch

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