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12-28 New Year is coming soon! Foxconn is in the final stages of talks with the Zhuhai municipal government to build a chip plant there; plans to start production of its 3D chips 2019 summer; etc.

Chipsets

Foxconn is in the final stages of talks with the Zhuhai municipal government to build a chip plant there with a total investment of about USD9B. Foxconn is allegedly planning to start construction as early as 2020. (CN Beta, US News, Yahoo, ECNS, Asia Nikkei)

Touch Display

Samsung reportedly will showcase its new “Sound on Display” (SoD) OLED display panels. The  sound emits from the display itself and eliminates the need for external speakers. The technology uses vibration and bone conduction providing more room for the display. (ET News, BGR, Gizmo China, Value Walk, CN Beta)

Samsung has found a way to manufacture curved screens based on the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) technology. The company has just received a patent for a “Curved Liquid Crystal Display” by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). (Android Headlines, 91Mobiles, CN Beta)

Camera

Satoshi Yoshihara, general manager in charge of sensors at Sony, said the company plans to start production of its 3D chips 2019 summer to meet demand from “several” smartphone makers. Apple is allegedly interested in adopting the technology. Along with Sony, which supplies camera modules for Apple, Infineon, Panasonic and STMicroelectronics are also developing 3D chips based on TOF technology. (Bloomberg Quint, Apple Insider, TechWeb, OCN, Tencent)

Memory

Adjusting the pace of increasing production capacities for DRAM and NAND flash chips was discussed at the meeting presided over by Vice Chairman Kim Ki-nam and heads of the chipmaker’s overseas branches. Samsung has estimated its annual bit growth, a term used to denote increased supply of memory chips in the market, for DRAM to be around 20% and NAND to be around 40%.  (CN Beta, Korea Herald, Sam Mobile)

Phison Electronics has formed a strategic partnership with Tsinghua Unigroup’s NAND flash memory module subsidiary to build a larger presence in China. Phison, which supplies NAND flash memory controllers and modules, has signed a MoU with Beijing Unis Memory Technology, joining the ranks of local semiconductor companies that have teamed up with Tsinghua Unigroup, which aims to become a major semiconductor firm globally. (CN Beta, iFeng, EE World, Digitimes, Focus Taiwan, Taipei Times)

Biometrics

Samsung’s first smartphones equipped with in-screen fingerprint scanners will allegedly be those launching as part of the Galaxy A10 series. (Android Headlines, TechRadar, Android Community, CN Beta)

Mobile payment giant Alipay has announced a major upgrade to its ‘Smile to Pay’ service, aiming to make its facial-recognition process more accessible to merchants and customers. The new version, dubbed Dragonfly, is essentially a plug-and play device that Alipay claims to be just one-tenth the size of a traditional self-service POS machine and can be placed in a backpack. (CN Beta, Trend Hunter, ECNS)

Battery

Subsidy of Foxconn, Fitipower Integrated has begun selling USB PD fast charging chipset FP6606C at CNY1. In addition to FP6606C, the company is launching a series of USB PD fast charging chipset. (My Drivers, Chong Dian Tou)

Phone

Faisal Kawoosa, founder of techARC, indicates that tightening of the FDI policy in ecommerce could help Samsung wrest India’s top smartphone slot from Xiaomi because Samsung has a wider offline retail presence than its Chinese rival, which needs to scale up its brick-and-mortar store play rapidly. Currently, Xiaomi has 500 Mi stores and aims to add 5,000 outlets by the end of 2019.  (CN Beta, Economic Times)

Second hand recycle and refurbish brand Ai Hui Shou (爱回收) and D-Phone (or Di Xin Tong 迪信通) have established strategic collaboration. Ai Hui Shou will leverage the offline channels of Di Xin Tong. Currently in China, the installed base of smartphone and tablet is about 1B units. With 2 year recycle period, yearly die-out volume is about 474M units. Thus, the second hand market in China is estimated at about CNY200B. (My Drivers, iFeng, TechNode, Sina)

OPPO Vice President and President of the Internet Business Division, Duan Huihui said that the company had officially launched the so-called ‘Gravitation Plan’ and will invest CNY1B (USD0.14B) in 2019. OPPO has also announced some data on its smartphones. Up to now, OPPO has 100,000+ cooperative developers that have reached OPH open capacity of 2.7B times/day, and commercial exposure has reached 2.5B times/day. (CN Beta, GizChina)

Apple will reportedly begin assembling its top-end iPhones in India through the local unit of Foxconn as early as 2019, the first time Foxconn will have made the product in the country. The work will take place at Foxconn’s plant in Sriperumbudur town in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. According to Tamil Nadu’s Industries Minister M C Sampath, Foxconn will invest INR25B (USD356M) to expand the plant. (CN Beta, CNBC, Reuters)

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) indicates that 16% of Apple iPhone buyers reported having switched from Android during the first launch month of iPhone XR, a 33% increase over the number of Android switchers following the launch of iPhone 8 models a year ago, and a 45% increase in Android switchers in the month after the launch of iPhone X. 。(CN Beta, Apple Insider, CIRP, GSM Arena)

Huawei Honor’s president Zhao Ming reveals that its annual sales growth rate must exceed 150%. In terms of its foreign market share, it should be between 20%~30% which is quite significant. He also said that the global brands left are only four or five. (CN Beta, My Drivers, Sina, Huanqiu, GizChina)

Huawei Honor V20 (or View 20) is announced in China – 6.4” 1080×310 FHD+ IPS with only the LGP layer is cut (OCA, POL and color filter stay untouched), HiSilicon Kirin 980, rear dual 48MP-3D ToF + front 25MP under display, 6+128GB / 8+256GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 4000mAh, CNY2999 / CNY3499. (CN Beta, GSM Arena, GizChina, Vmall, Gizmo China)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Feelreal has announced the pre-release of its Multi-Sensory VR Mask which includes, among other features, the ability to smell scents while viewing movies or playing games within a virtual reality headset. The VR Mask contains a scent generator that can hold and use up to nine aroma capsules within a replaceable scent cartridge. Multi-Sensory VR Mask users can choose from 255 different scents. (CN Beta, Digital Trends, New Atlas, Digital Journal)

Robotics

Samsung’s recent patent of drone shows that the company is seriously planning to move against the industry leader DJI. Samsung is perhaps planning to make a  transformable drone, which is something that no drone-maker has done so far. (Gizmo China, TechGenYZ, First Post, CN Beta)

LG will debut an updated version of its wearable CLOi SuitBot alongside a lineup of improved service robots which are nearing commercialization. The wearable SuitBot supports the lower body to reduce stress when lifting and bending while the enhanced CLOi service robots – PorterBot, ServeBot and CartBot – will demonstrate their more advanced capabilities made possible by LG’s continuously evolving AI and robotics knowhow. (CN Beta, SlashGear, Market Watch, IB Times, LG)

Artificial Intelligence

OPPO Vice-President and President of Software Engineering Division Wu Hengang is introducing Breeno voice assistant. The intelligent assistant integrates perception, decision-making and learning skills through natural interaction. (Gizmo China, My Drivers)

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