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11-28: Sony allegedly will soon announce these 2 new Full Frame sensors; Sprint and HTC are working together to bring a powerful 5G mobile smart hub to U.S. customers in 1H19; etc.

Chipsets

Guizhou Huaxintong (HXT) announces that its first generation commercial ARM-based server SoC —— StarDragon 4800 is entering mass production and launching in the market. HXT is a company jointly formed by Guizhou municipal governement and Qualcomm. StarDragon 4800 is compatible with ARMv8 architecture 48-core SoC chipset, manufactured by 10nm process. Within 400mm2 the chipset has about 1.8M units transistors. It can execute near 500B functions within 1 second. (CN Beta, ESM China, Xinhuanet)

Touch Display

LG’s patent describes a flexible display that wraps around the frame entirely—when folded, the device can be used just like a traditional smartphone that boasts a curved edge display. The rear portion of the display is automatically switched off in this position.  (Phone Arena, LetsGoDigital, CNMO, Sina)

Camera

Sony allegedly will soon announce these 2 new Full Frame sensors: a new 60MP full-frame sensor where one of its key features is its ability to record video at a whopping 8K resolution; and a 36MP full-frame sensor. (Baijiahao, Ubergizmo, Sony Alpha Rumors)

Storage

Samsung is launching its first QLC (quad-layer-cell) product Samsung 860 QVO, which  is a SATA-based 2.5” drive that comes out 15 Dec 2018. Samsung’s 860 QVO joins Intel’s 660p and Micron Crucial’s P1 as the first 3 consumer QLC products.  (CN Beta, VentureBeat, Samsung)

Battery

Energous, the developer of WattUp, a revolutionary wireless charging 2.0 technology, has announced the availability of its DA2223 receiver chip, which is the latest addition to its family of ICs. At just 1.7×1.4mm and less than 0.5mm thin, the DA2223 4-port RF-to-DC wireless power chip is the smallest RF rectifier IC in the Energous technology portfolio. (Digital Trends, NASDAQ)

Connectivity

Google’s Project Fi mobile service will reportedly be boosted by a major expansion of compatible smartphones. Project Fi is the Google-backed MVNO that combines network coverage from T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular. At the moment, Project Fi only works with devices from Motorola, LG and Google Pixel. The lineup of “Fi-ready” compatible phones will reportedly add Samsung, OnePlus and Apple’s devices. (CN Beta, 9to5Google, The Verge, Droid-Life, Google)

3GPP has officially released the first terminal radio frequency conformance test standard TS38.521-1 based on 5G independent deployment. China Unicom has announced that the TS38.521-1 terminal RF compliance test standard will be formulated, which will greatly enhance China Unicom to represent China in the 5G era. (My Drivers, Caijing, Wall Street CN)

Open Signal, a company that specializes in mapping wireless coverage, has conducted a studyof 80 countries that showed that mobile internet is faster than the average Wi-Fi hot spot in 33 countries. The report points to a variety of reasons for the faster mobile speeds, like the ease of cell deployment over laying cable. (OpenSignal, report, The Verge, ChinaZ, Baijiahao)

Phone

Samsung is reportedly planning to invest USD40M into Pokemon Go and Ingress developer Niantic. This partnership could result in Niantic-developed games coming pre-loaded on Samsung. The firms’ main focus, however, will be an exclusive Harry Potter game, which will utilize Samsung’s S-Pen stylus as a makeshift magic wand. (Phone Arena, The Inquirer, Baijiahao)

Sprint and HTC are working together to bring a powerful 5G mobile smart hub to U.S. customers in 1H19. In 1H19 Sprint plans to launch its mobile 5G network in nine of some of the largest cities in the country: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., with additional markets to be announced. (CN Beta, The Verge, CNET, Android Central, Market Watch)

Huawei Consumer Business Group Wally Wang indicates that India is a vital market for Huawei to achieve 200M units shipment target in 2018. In 1H18, Huawei smartphone shipment is already near 100M units. (CN Beta, Huanqiu)

Wally Yang, senior marketing director at Huawei Consumer Business Group, reveals that the company is foraying into the offline retail channel as a standalone brand by setting up 100 exclusive experience zones through its retail partners for its flagship devices in the country, and plans to take the count to 1,000 by 2020.  (Economic Times, Huanqiu)

Africa’s mobile phone market declined 2.1% QoQ in Q3 2018 according to IDC. Overall shipments for the quarter totaled 52.6M units, with feature phone shipments falling 2.7% QoQ and smartphone shipments declining 1.3% over the same period. Transsion brands (Tecno, Infinix, and Itel) led the feature phone space in 3Q18, with a combined unit share of 58.2%.  (Digitimes, IDC, People.com, Huanqiu)

LG Electronics has announced the key changes to its organization in an effort to enhance its strengths and more vigorously address the challenges ahead. Brian Kwon, currently president of LG’s Home Entertainment Company, will also assume leadership of the Mobile Communications (MC) Company. (TechCrunch, Phone Arena, LG, Baijiahao, Sohu)

BLU Vivo XL4 is launched in Amazon US – 6.2” 19:9 720×1520 HD+ IPS, MediaTek Helio P22, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 13MP, 3+32GB, 4000mAh, rear fingerprint scanner, USD150. (Phone Arena, Amazon)

Realme U1 is launched on Amazon India – 6.3” 2340×1080 FHD+ IPS, MediaTek Helio P70, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 25MP, 3+32GB / 4+64GB, Android 8.1, rear fingerprint scanner, 3500mAh, INR11,999 / INR14,499. (CN Beta, Realme, NDTV)

Wearables

Mobvoi launches TicWatch Pro 4G, featuring 1.4” LCD display using Layered Display design, Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100, 30 days battery life, Wear OS by Google, supporting China Mobile and China Unicom eSIM service, priced at CNY1799. (CN Beta, IT Home, Mobvoi)

Huami reports 3Q18 sales growth of 126.7% YoY to CNY1.07B, due to the increase in the sales of Xiaomi wearable products and self-branded products. Its wearable shipment has reached 8.2M units, a 110.3% increase on year. Also, its Xiaomi Band 3 series shipment exceeds 10M units up to 11 Nov 2018. (My Drivers, Sina, Sohu, Seeking Alpha, Capital Watch)

Home

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun announces that AI+IoT is the core strategy of Xiaomi. AI+IoT technology will be embedded in every device in the future. In the next 3~5 years, each device will have an AIoT control module to make the interaction interesting. IKEA intelligent home lightning products are getting Xiaomi IoT platform in Dec 2018.  (GizChina, Gizmo China, Weibo, iFanr, Yicai)

Payment

According to Merchant Machine on mobile payment spending across the world in 2017,  China leads the pack, with 47% of people there using a mobile wallet. But in second place, rather surprisingly, is Norway, a country with only 5.2M people–but a full 42% of them use a mobile wallet. As for the most popular mobile wallets, WeChat Pay is No. 1 with 600M users.  (CN Beta, UDN, Fast Company, Merchant Machine)

Alipay has announced that currently its users have reached 900M worldwide. In particular, 70% of China active users use more than 3 types of Alipay’s services. Alipay’s last announcement of number of users is in end of 2016, which is about 450M users. (CN Beta, TechNode, Sina, My Drivers)

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