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12-05: Qualcomm’s series of announcements; AT&T and Verizon will launch Samsung 5G phone in 1H19; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm has ruled out any chance of a return to its abandoned bid for NXP Semiconductors after U.S. and Chinese political leaders appeared to open the way for possible approval of the transaction. (GizChina, Reuters, Bloomberg, My Drivers, Sina, UDN, Yahoo)

Qualcomm has announced Snapdragon 855, which will be the first processor fueling the initial wave of 5G-enabled smartphones. It is powered by the company’s 4th-gen AI Engine, will offer 3 times the AI performance that was on offer with its predecessor. (Android Central, AnandTech, Android Headlines, CN Beta)

Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon holds the first Snapdragon 855 reference design smartphone. At this point, Qualcomm has provided 3 5G solutions including 5G modem X50, X50 millimeter wave 5G antenna module solution and 5G reference design. (CN Beta, The Verge, CNET)

Qualcomm’s President, Cristiano Amon, has announced the list of vendors that will launch 5G smartphones using Qualcomm’s equipment in 2019. The list includes ASUS, Fujitsu, Google, HMD (Nokia), HTC, LG, Motorola, OnePlus, OPPO, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, vivo, Xiaomi, ZTE, and other less known manufacturers. Obviously missing from the list are the likes of Meizu and Smartisan. (GizChina, VentureBeat, CN Beta)

Touch Display

Microsoft is allegedly working closely with Intel on a new dual-screen Surface device powered by Windows Core OS. Codenamed “Centaurus”, which is a dual-screen 2-in-1, a new device form factor for Windows 10 that utilizes two screens for productivity, inking, and more. (CN Beta, Windows Central, TechRadar)

Camera

Samsung and Apple’s 2019 smartphones are reportedly to feature 3D sensing cameras that will incorporate the use of time-of-flight (ToF) sensors. LG is expected to supply Apple the ToF sensors, while Samsung will be relying on its SEMCO and Patron suppliers. (Ubergizmo, WSJ, Phone Arena, WCCFTech, ET News, US Switch, My Drivers, IT Home)

Biometrics

Qualcomm has announced a partnership with Katouzian to develop the first 3D ultrasonic fingerprint sensor for smartphones, dubbed Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor. The primary draw of the new sensor is its ability to read fingerprints through various contaminants like oil and water.  (Android Authority, Android Central, CN Beta)

Connectivity

Verizon and Samsung have announced plans to release a 5G smartphone in 1H19, representing what will be one of the most high-profile US debuts for the new mobile networking standard.  (The Verge, Korea Herald, CN Beta)

AT&T has announced plans to grow its mobile 5G device lineup with a 5G smartphone from Samsung in 1H19. It would be AT&T’s second 5G device it has announced, the first being a 5G mobile hotspot. (Android Authority, AT&T)

Qualcomm and Nokia have successfully achieved over-the-air (OTA) 5G NR data calls in both the mmWave and sub-6 GHz spectrum bands. Compliant with the global 3GPP 5G NR Release 15 specification in NSA (Non-Standalone) mode, the interoperability testing milestones were completed at Nokia’s 5G center of excellence in Oulu, Finland using commercially available Nokia AirScale base stations and a mobile smartphone form-factor test device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and antenna modules with integrated RF transceiver, RF front-end and antenna elements. (Neowin, Nokia)

Phone

Samsung has allegedly commenced production of its Galaxy M series smartphones in India with market launch expected to come in early 2019. The Galaxy M10, M20 and M30 will be assembled in Samsung’s factory in Noida. The Samsung Galaxy M line is said to replace the old Galaxy J and Galaxy On series and will come with ample storage options. (GSM Arena, 91Mobiles, Baijiahao)

According to Gartner, in 3Q18, Chinese brands Huawei and Xiaomi, helped drive global smartphone sales. Overall, sales of smartphones to end users grew 1.4% in 3Q18 to reach 389M units. Led by low-price smartphones, enhanced camera features and high-quality resolution displays, top Chinese mobile phone manufacturers boosted their sales across emerging markets in 3Q18. (Gartner, press, GizChina, JRJ, Jiemian)

Huawei has set its 2019 smartphone sales target at 200M units, a 25% increase of 2018. Xiaomi has set its target to 150M~160M units, a 20% increase. OPPO and vivo reportedly also set their 2019 target about 10% increase of 2018. (Gizmo China, IT Home)

Alcatel 1X Evolve is launched with T-Mobile – 5.34” 480×960 qHD, MediaTek MT6739WM, rear 8MP + front 5MP, 2+16GB, Android 8.1, no fingerprint scanner, 2460mAh. (Phone Arena, CN Beta)

Wearables

Global shipments of wearable devices reached 32.0M units in 3Q18, up 21.7% from the previous year according to IDC. New products from the likes of Fitbit, Garmin, and Huawei helped the basic wearables category return to growth during the quarter. Xiaomi has grabbed the top position during the quarter thanks to the success of the Mi Band 3 and significant expansion beyond its home country of China. (VentureBeat, IDC, press, My Drivers)

Home

Huawei and JD.com have jointly announced that the both companies will establish strategic cooperation in IoT and smart home from the technical, channel and ecological aspects. Both companies will jointly build a total solution that is safe, reliable, easy to use and intelligent. (CN Beta, Caijing, JRJ)

Robotics

Wing, a drone delivery business owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, said it will launch in Europe in the spring of 2019, with the introduction of service in the Helsinki area of Finland. (CN Beta, The Verge, 9to5Google, CNET, Wing)

Payment

Mastercard and Microsoft have announced a strategic collaboration to improve how people manage and use their digital identity. Microsoft and Mastercard are working on a service that would “allow individuals to enter, control and share their identity data their way” using their personal devices.  (Neowin, Microsoft, Baijiahao)

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