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12-31 Happy New Year! LGD’s P10 plant construction has been postponed with no definite plan; Small- to medium-size flat panel makers in Taiwan and Japan engulfed in difficulties are desperately seeking ways to bail themselves out; etc.

Chipsets

MediaTek is reportedly not abandoning the Helio X series.  According to the company, the Helio X series will still be developed depending on the needs of the market. (GizChina, UDN)

For 2019, Morgan Stanley projects semiconductor sales to decline 4.7%, post the torrid ~22%/14% growth seen in 2017/18. By segment, they expect memory revenue to decline 18% in 2019 after growing ~60%/30% in 2017/18 with DRAM down 21% and NAND down 14% – while NAND will decline by more than DRAM in 1H19, they do look for some stabilization by 2H19, vs. their assumption that DRAM will remain soft all year. (Morgan Stanley report, CN Beta)

Touch Display

LG Display (LGD) P10 plant construction has been postponed with no definite plan. The company has originally planned to complete the new plant in Paju by the end of 2018. However, the plan fell through as it decided to manufacture OLED panels instead of LCD at the new plant. LG is planning to adjust its investment rate in line with the trend of the growing TV market. (Business Korea, GizChina, IT Home)

Small- to medium-size flat panel makers in Taiwan and Japan engulfed in difficulties are desperately seeking ways to bail themselves out. In Taiwan, a financial crisis forced Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) to apply for a restructuring in mid-Dec 2018. (Digitimes, press, UDN, CN Beta)

Connectivity

Indian government though expects initial 5G rollouts by late 2020. But sector experts say the country is running late and could be at least three years behind South Korea, Japan, Australia, the US, China, France and Germany in rolling out 5G networks. 5G services are likely to be rolled out in these pioneer markets by late 2019 or early 2020.  (CN Beta, Economic Times)

Phone

Essential has confirmed that the Essential Phone will not be restocked as the company shifts its focus to future products. They will also continue to sell accessories and provide speedy software updates and customer support to the existing community. (Gizmo China, The Verge, 9to5Google, CN Beta)

In the cooperation, Huawei will provide Mango TV with comprehensive cloud computing products and solution support, while opening related technical capabilities to Mango TV to achieve AI natural interaction control, accurate content distribution and smart media processing. (CN Beta, JQK News)

Home

In an attempt to bring its smart speaker to more affordable prices, Samsung is reportedly working on smaller, cheaper Galaxy Home. Unlike the original Galaxy Home, the smaller version is expected to pack fewer microphones and premium features. The smart speaker will still be powered by Bixby. (Sam Mobile, Phone Arena, CN Beta, The Verge)

According to RBC Capital Markets, the near doubling of the adoption rate for smart speakers in the U.S. is driven by growth in both Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices, while Apple HomePod played only a small role. The firm found that U.S. penetration of Alexa-enabled devices reached 31% in 2018, compared with 41% overall for smart speakers. (Business Insider, EDN, TechCrunch)

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