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12-25 Happy Holidays: OPPO is exploring 10 times lossless zoom technology for its camera; Meizu reportedly has begun its own foldable display project; etc.

Chipsets

The Israeli parliamentary finance committee has approved a NIS700M (USD185.5M) grant to Intel, to fund company’s planned expansion of one of its local plants. Located in Kiryat Gat, a small town in Israel’s south, Fab 28 manufactures chips for servers, workstations, mobile computers, and desktops. (CN Beta, US News, NASDAQ)

Huawei has officially announced the world’s first 7nm ARM-based data centre processor, which will empower the company’s next-generation “TaiShan” servers. The Hi1620 is built on ARM v8 architecture cores with the memory of eight DDR4-3200 channels per socket and support for PCIe 4.0 and CCIX. The new chip increases bandwidth by 33 percent and efficiency by 20 percent compared to its predecessor Hi1616.  (CN Beta, Synced, EET-China)

Touch Display

ZTE’s patent illustrates a foldable phone that involves a single display panel bendable in half, with its overall form factor resembling that of a booklet. ZTE’s design involves both a front camera system and a rear-facing imaging setup. A rear-facing fingerprint reader also appears to be part of the package. (Mobielkopen, Android Headlines, TechWeb, iFeng)

Meizu reportedly has begun its own foldable display project, and already obtained related patents for its future foldable phone products. However, there is yet any news about Meizu foldable device, thus it is believed the project is still in its early state. (CN Beta, Huanqiu, Sohu)

Camera

Samsung is reportedly working on their own version of Google Camera’s Night Sight mode called “Bright Night”. This feature could debut on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10. (The Verge, XDA-Developers, ET Today)

OPPO imaging lab head reveals that the company is exploring 10 times lossless zoom technology for its camera. The technology is maturing, and will begin enter commercialization soon. (CN Beta, Yesky, The Leaker)

Sensory

Velodyne, the inventor and leader of the lidar sensor industry for autonomous vehicles (AV), has  announced Nikon as a new strategic investor with an investment of USD25M. The parties have further announced they have begun discussions for a multifaceted business alliance. (My Drivers, CN Beta, Market Screener, Morning Star)

IBM has announced that it has developed a small sensor that sits on a person’s fingernail to help monitor the effectiveness of drugs used to combat the symptoms of Parkinson’s and other diseases. Together with the custom software that analyses the data, the sensor measures how the nail warps as the user grips something.  (TechCrunch, Tech Device Review, Digital Journal, CNMO)

Battery

Samsung could be working to include faster charging technologies in its upcoming smartphones. Presumably, this will make its debut in the company’s upcoming flagship, which is expected to be called the Galaxy S10. (Neowin, CN Beta, Twitter)

Phone

Founded in 2002, Gionee used to be the leader of Chinese mobile phone industry with yearly production of more than 80M units. However, recently Gionee has filed for bankruptcy, and Shenzhen court has already accepted the company’s file for bankruptcy. (CN Beta, RightLog)

Huawei has announced its 2018 smartphone sales, saying that it sold an all-time high of over 200M units. The firm has shown consistent growth, shipping 153M units in 2017 and 139M units in 2016. Of the company’s premium lineups from 2018, the P20 series sold 16M units, and the newer Mate 20 series has already sold 5M units. Huawei said that its Nova 3 is the most popular selfie phone of 2018, and the series as a whole accounted for 65M units. (CN Beta, Engadget CN, VentureBeat)

Xiaomi Mi Play is announced with waterdrop notch display – 5.84” 2280×1080 FHD+ IPS, MediaTek Helio P35, rear dual 12MP (1.25µm)-2MP + front 8MP, 4+64GB, Android 8.1, 3000mAh, CNY1099. (Android Headlines, CN Beta)

PC / Tablet

Apple may be preparing a new version of the iPad mini, with a fifth-generation version of the pint-sized tablet allegedly on the way, coupled with other changes to the iPad lineup in 2019. Apple will be launching two low-priced models of the iPad in 2019. (Apple Insider, China Times, CN Beta)

Home

RBC Insight analysts Mark Mahaney indicates that Google’s hardware division has “gained critical success and are starting to gain material commercial traction”. RBC projects that in 2018, the hardware segment will generate a combined USD8.8B (or 6% of gross revenue) and a profit of USD3B (or 4% of gross profits). By 2021, it says, that will rise to USD19.6B (or 8% of gross revenue) and a profit of USD6.1B (5% of profits). RBC also estimates that about 43M Google Home devices are now installed in the U.S. and 9M internationally. (Android Authority, CNBC, Qianjia, Tencent)

Fintech

Facebook is allegedly developing a “stablecoin” that will give users a way to transfer money via its encrypted mobile messaging service WhatsApp. Stablecoins are tied to the US dollar and are meant to be more stable and resistant to volatility than bitcoins. Facebook will most likely launch the currency in India, putting it to the test by tapping into the country’s massive remittance market.  (Engadget, Bloomberg)

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