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12-01: OPPO has successfully conducted the world’s first WeChat video call using a 5G smartphone; vivo plans to invest over INR4,000 crore on its second ‘Make in India’ phase; etc.

Chipsets

MediaTek has teased its upcoming Helio P90 SoC. MediaTek claims that the Helio P90 is powerful, efficient and features groundbreaking AI, and “this chip changes everything”. (CN Beta, Gizmo China, GSM Arena, 91Mobiles, Twitter)

Touch Display

ZTE’s new patent showing a method trying to reduce the upper bezel and potentially eliminate the need for a notch by making a hole for the earpiece. (Mobiel Kopen, CN Beta, GSM Arena)

South Korea has charged 9 people and 2 companies of illegally selling Samsung’s bendable screen technology to a Chinese rival. Samsung has spent about KRW150B over a period of 6 years to develop the OLED technology that is now considered highly-classified national knowledge. Toptec, which produces automated equipment to make mobile phone display panels, has denied any wrongdoing. (Digital Trends, Bloomberg, Reuters, GSM Arena, Engadget, EET China, Sina)

Samsung’s patent titled “Electronic device with multi-angle cradling” suggests a foldable device using their edgeless screen to minimize the centre bezel, and uses a magnet to keep the two edges in close approximation for the same reason. Samsung suggests the device could be folded in multiple configurations. (CN Beta, IT Home, MS Poweruser, LetsGoDigital)

E Ink has announced the JustWrite — a new display that can be written on with almost no latency. It achieves this by having the new display be driven by its stylus itself rather than the TFT backplates that have been used for previous displays. The change potentially means that only the stylus itself needs to be powered, although the screen itself may still require a small amount of power to refresh itself to erase any writing or drawings. (CN Beta, Engadget, The Verge, PC Mag)

Samsung has filed trademark for “Samsung Galaxy Fold”, which may be used for a variety of products including smartphones. (GizChina, CN Beta, WCCFTech, Sam Mobile)

Sony has filed a patent showing a smartphone with 2 displays (front and rear), which can be set to function in 6 different modes (3 for the front and 3 for the rear). Basically, they can set to transparent, semi-transparent and non-transparent. The patent also mentions some kind of transparent rollable display. (Phone Arena, LetsGoDigital, TechNave)

Microsoft’s foldable phone project, internally coded “Andromeda”, is rumored to be launched by end of 2019. Microsoft is possibly adjusting the solution, for instance, changing a bigger sized display. (CN Beta, My Drivers, Tom’s Guide, Geek Wire)

Battery

Samsung SDI, the battery-making unit of Samsung Group, will be expanding its battery pack plant for electric vehicles in the Unites States. Samsung SDI will be investing over USD62M to extend its existing plant in Auburn Hills in Michigan nearby Detroit. (CN Beta, Pulse News, Korea Herald, Yonhap News)

Connectivity

OPPO VP Shen Yiren has announced that the company has successfully conducted the world’s first WeChat video call using a 5G smartphone. (Gizmo China, CN Beta)

South Korea’s 3 wireless carriers – SK Telecom, KT Corp, and LG Uplus – will launch world’s first commercial services of 5G network across the country on 1 Dec 2018, providing users super-fast mobile internet speed and unprecedented mobile experience.  (CN Beta, Sina, Pulse News)

Phone

vivo India director (brand strategy) Nipun Marya indicates that the company plans to invest over INR4,000 crore (about CNY3.93B) on its second ‘Make in India’ phase, which includes setting up a new plant. (CN Beta, Wall Street CN, Economic Times, BGR)

Realme CEO Madhav Sheth states that the company is planning to expand its line-up to the offline space, and could tie up with Reliance Digital to initially sell its devices at select offline locations in major cities. This is a strategy that is widely different from that of OPPO, which can usually be bought at numerous neighborhood mobile retailers. (GizChina, BGR, Business Today)

Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth indicates that Realme will expand its operations to the Middle East, northern Africa as well as markets like Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh soon. He adss that Realme intends to provide “premium sense to devices below INR20,000”. (Business Today, Financial Express, Business Standard)

Huawei is rumored developing its own operating system, dubbed KirinOS, that will replace Google Android. This comes from Huawei mobile product portfolio chairman Bruce Lee. (Gizmo China, IT Home)

Sirin Labs officially launches FINNEY blockchain smartphone, manufactured by Foxconn – 6” 1080×2160 FHD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, rear 12MP + front 8MP, 6+128GB, Android 8.1 with Sirin OS offering 4 key security and payment features, 3280mAh, USD999. (Android Headlines, CN Beta, Business Wire, TNW)

Wearables

TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that AirPods is Apple’s fastest growing products, and expects the growth in shipments in 2018 and 2019 will be about 80% and 90%, respectively, while the annual shipment is expected to reach 100M units by 2021. He indicates that the next generation AirPods, which support wireless charging, will be launched in 1Q19. All new design upgrade will be launched in 1Q20. Lux Share, Unitech, Shin Zu Shing, and HLJ Technology are believed to be benefited from the new AirPods. (My Drivers, CN Beta, UDN, Wealth, Love iOS)

Gartner forecasts that worldwide shipments of wearable devices will reach 225M in 2019, an increase of 25.8% from 2018. End-user spending on wearable devices is forecast to reach USD42B in 2019. Of that, USD16.2B will be on smartwatches. The overall ASP of smartwatches is expected to slowly decline from USD221.99 in 2018 to USD210 in 2022, due to lower-priced competitors and as higher volumes lead to reductions in manufacturing and component costs, while strong brands like Apple and traditional watch brands try to keep pricing stable. (Phone Arena, Gartner, press, CN Beta)

Artificial Intelligence

Instagram is introducing alternative text for photos that provide a description of a given image. Those descriptions can be read by screen readers so visually impaired readers can hear about the photos in their feed. There will be two ways for photos to receive an alternative text. The first is from artificial intelligence (AI).  (CN Beta, Do News, Peta Pixel, The Verge, Instagram)

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