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11-22: TSMC expects to complete over 100 tape-outs for 7nm and 7nm EUV processes in 2019; LGD is allegedly working closely on a joint project to deliver folding panels to Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo; etc.

Chipsets

Although Apple has reportedly cut orders for A12 chipsets for new iPhones, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) expects to complete over 100 tape-outs for 7nm and 7nm EUV processes in 2019, up from 50 in 2018, to fulfill orders from major chipmakers including HiSilicon, Qualcomm, AMD, Nvidia and Xilinx in 2019, according to Digitimes. (CN Beta, My Drivers, Digitimes, press, Fudzilla)

Meizu’s founder Jerry Wong discloses that the company will release an adapter with an independent music chip. He has disclosed that a mobile phone with a built-in music chip is a low-cost simple HiFi, and the cost of a good HiFi is many times higher than what the phones sell for. (My Drivers, CN Beta, Gizmo China, Meizu)

Touch Display

LG Display (LGD) is allegedly working closely on a joint project to deliver folding panels to Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo. LG Chem reportedly plans to invest heavily in its Cheongju factory beginning in early 2019 to produce the adhesives, substrates, and other components needed for the panels. LGD and Lenovo are developing a 13.3” 2560×1600 resolution foldable panel, with production slated to begin during 3Q19. LGD  and Huawei are developing a 6” display that will fold outward. (Android Headlines, The Elec, Gizmo China, CN Beta)

OPPO’s foldable phone patent has been filed in China showcasing a tablet-like device, which can be folded into a regular smartphone. (Gizmo China, Ubergizmo, Phone Radar, Mobiel Kopen, Sina, CCIDNet)

According to SquareTrade, smartphone owners accidentally broke more than 50M phone screens in 2017 (that is nearly 2 every second), and replacing those screens cost them USD3.4B. The study found that 66% of smartphone owners damaged their phones in 2017, with cracked screens leading the way as the most common type of damage (29%). Scratched screens (27%) and nonworking batteries (22%) took second and third place respectively, with touchscreen issues and chipped corners/sides tying at 16% each. (Phone Arena, PR Newswire, 199IT)

BOE Technology has announced construction of third Gen-6 AMOLED production line, with a total investment of CNY46.5B with the same design capacity of about 48K units per month. Now, BOE has invested a total of CNY139.5B in OLED panels with production lines in Chengdu, Mianyang and Chongqing. (CN Beta, TechNews, Sohu)

Samsung hopes to revitalize the momentum with the manufacture and sale of foldable phones. Samsung is allegedly putting pressure on Samsung Display (SDC) to not supply foldable display technologies to Huawei for the time being. On the other hand, Huawei and BOE Technology are working closely together on foldable display. (CN Beta, EE World, NBD)

Huawei’s foldable phone reportedly might carry Mate branding. Huawei is pondering over 4 names like Mate F, Mate Flex, Mate Flexi and Mate Fold for it. (Gizmo China, Android Headlines, CN Beta)

Camera

Samsung is planning at least 3 devices under the Galaxy S series with display sizes ranging from 5.8” to 6.4” and a possibility of featuring reverse wireless charging in some variants, 5G support and cameras ranging from 3~5 (both front and back). A model dubbed “Beyond X” is expected feature a 6.7” display, support for 5G, and 6 cameras – 2 in the front and 4 on the back.  (Neowin, WSJ, Pocket-Lint, Sammy Hub, CN Beta)

Isaiah Research has adjusted their forecast of triple / multi-camera equipped smartphone penetration in 2019. They have increased their previous forecast of 5.6% to 12.6%. It is mainly driven by Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei and Apple. In order to achieve more optical zoom or super wide-angle feature, triple camera is considered to be the future trend. (Isaiah Research report)

Battery

Chinese start-up Qing Tao (Kunshan) Energy Development, led by Nan Cewen, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has invested CNY1B (USD144M) on the solid-state battery project. The production line is capable of producing 0.1GWh solid-state batteries per year, which have an energy density of over 400Wh/kg.  (GSM Arena, Xinhuanet, Electrek, China.org.cn, JRJ, Yicai)

Connectivity

Huawei and Three UK have showcased a 5G home broadband demonstration using Three UK’s 100MHz C-Band spectrum. The demonstration leverages Huawei’s latest home broadband routers – the first 5G commercial terminals in the world – to allow forum attendees to experience ultra-high-speed 5G broadband services. (Neowin, Huawei, CN Beta)

T-Mobile has announced that it has completed the world’s first 5G data transmission on the 600 MHz spectrum in partnership with Nokia. The two companies signed a deal earlier 2018 with 5G in mind. The first smartphones to support the technology are expected to arrive in 2019.  (CN Beta, Neowin, T-Mobile)

Nokia will merge its mobile networks and fixed networks business groups into a new unit called Access Networks as it takes aim at 5G opportunities. Chief Executive Rajeev Suri indicates that by creating a single Access Networks organization that includes both fixed and mobile, they can improve our customer focus, simplify our management structure, and more efficiently leverage our full portfolio. (CN Beta, Telecom Paper, Business Insider, Reuters)

ZTE and China Telecom have jointly demonstrated the 5G network service. ZTE said that it has completed the iterative upgrade of Xiong’an 5G service and became the only manufacturer to carry all services to 5G networks. (CN Beta, Sina, CTI Forum)

Phone

Alphabet’s Google is to invest EUR600M (USD685.98M) to build its first data center in Denmark. Google’s Vice President for Global Data Centers, Joe Kava indicates that Google is committed to matching its energy use with 100% carbon-free energy in Fredericia.  (CN Beta, The Local DK, CNBC, Channel News Asia)

Xiaomi announced that it simultaneously opened over 500 Mi Stores in 14 states across the country on 29 Oct 2018. According to Xiaomi India managing director Manu Kumar Jain, Xiaomi targets 5000 stores by the end of 2019. (Android Authority, GSM Arena, Indian Express, ePrice)

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun reveals that in 3Q18 Xiaomi revenues from overseas (outside China) has increased 112.7% on year, which is 43.9% of overall revenues. Xiaomi also reveals that Xiaomi has entered more than 80 countries and regions, in particular Xiaomi has entered top 5 in 30 markets. (Huanqiu, Yicai, CN Beta)

Meizu’s SVP, Lin Nan has said that independent smartphone brands have no chance against big companies. (Gizmo China, CN Beta)

Huawei has filed multiple trademark applications for names of upcoming smartphones of Honor, including 10N, 20C, 20N,  30C, 40C and more at the European Union Intellectual Property Office. (Gizmo China, Nashville Chatter, Sina)

According to Counterpoint Research, in 3Q18, Huawei Honor sales leading the Chinese smartphone market. Xiaomi sales decline 15% on year. vivo exceeds OPPO marginally. Separating Huawei and Honor, in China, the top 6 ranking is vivo, OPPO, Huawei, Honor, Xiaomi, Apple, which in total own 86% of the market share in China. (CN Beta, My Drivers, Abacus, Counterpoint Research, press)

WeChat, has partnered with InterContinental to open a smart hotel in Shanghai that lets users book rooms, remotely check in, and use their phones as key cards — all without requiring human assistance. Once they’ve completed their reservation, travelers verify their identity at the hotel through facial recognition and collect their digital key card. WeChat’s parent Tencent also inked a deal with Shangri-La, so more hotel locations with these in-app capabilities are expected to open soon. (The Verge, Gizmo China, Jiemian, Huanqiu)

Huawei Honor 10 Lite is announced in China – 6.21” 2340×1080 FHD+ IPS, Huawei Kirin 710, rear 13MP-2MP + front 24MP, 4+64GB / 6+64/128GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 3400mAh, CNY1399 / CNY1699 / CNY1899. (GizChina, Gizmo China)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Snap is reportedly planning to release a new version of its Spectacles glasses with 2 cameras and a higher price point of USD350 by the end of 2018. The new Spectacles, internally codenamed Newport, will feature an all-new design with a more premium frame made of aluminum and cameras capable of producing augmented reality effects in videos. Snap plans to make roughly 24,000 pairs. (Android Headlines, Cheddar, CN Beta)

Google has applied for a patent on some “augmented and/or virtual reality footwear”. The patent describes a motorized shoe that can detect when user is running out of space to walk, activating a mechanism that will allow to take a step in the virtual world without actually advancing in the real world.  (The Verge, USPTO, CNET, CN Beta)

Vaqso aims to bring the smell to virtual reality (VR). The main Vaqso unit is linked to a third-party VR headset via micro USB or Bluetooth, and it extends around the user’s face in a semi-circle. It contains five replaceable cartridges, each of which is loaded with one of 15 currently-available scented oils. (CN Beta, New Atlas, Vaqso)

Automotive

Toyota has announced it revised its crash protection designs and used more ultra-high-strength steel on the next-generation 2020 Corolla. The vehicle also will receive Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 standard, upgrading and continuing Toyota’s history of including the advanced driver assistance system suite with the Corolla. (CN Beta, RDN, Toyota, Insider Car News)

Artificial Intelligence

Apple is allegedly broadening its reach into artificial intelligence (Ai) with the acquisition of Silk Labs, a startup focused on the development of on-device AI technology. (Apple Insider, The Information, iHeima, Sina)

Amazon says that the upcoming “newscaster style” speaking voice will allow Alexa to read the news like a professional newscaster would. Amazon says the new speaking style is enabled by by the company’s development of “neural text-to-speech” (NTTS) technology. This is the next generation of speech synthesis, that use machine learning to generate expressive voices more quickly.  (The Verge, Amazon, IT Home, Ubergizmo)

E-Commerce

JD.com has launched its first large-scale unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at Pucheng airport, Shaanxi province, 19 Nov 2018. The UAV will be used for the company’s cargo deliveries. The UAV, known as the JDY-800, has a wing-span of 10 meters. It can cruise at altitudes of 3,000m at speeds of over 200kph. The JDY-800 can carry up to 840kg cargo during its flight. (CN Beta, TechNodeYicai Global, China Daily)

JD Finance, a leading digital technology company in China, has announced the major upgrade of its brand with the unveiling of JD Digits, indicating the company’s drive towards integrating advanced digital technologies across more sectors. JD Digits is pioneering a new solution called the JD Stockbreeding Intelligent Solution which features fully-applied AI, IoT, robots and edge computing to digitalize traditional agriculture practices, helping reduce farmers’ costs while improving agricultural efficiency. (CN Beta, Sina, Business Insider, China Knowledge)

Fintech

Bitcoin value is dropping, and has reached USD5500 on 14 Nov 2018. The head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, Tom Lee has reiterated his recently reduced year-end price prediction for Bitcoin (BTC) at USD15,000. (CN Beta, Coin Insider, CNBC, Toshi Times, Coin Telegraph)

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