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01-29: TSMC has announced that for the second time in less than 6 months, a problem has caused issues with its chip production; Samsung has announced that the company will start taking steps in 2019 to replace plastic packaging materials with paper and other environmentally sustainable elements; etc.

Chipsets

TSMC has announced that for the second time in less than 6 months, a problem has caused issues with its chip production. The latest problem which caused trouble to TSMC line of chips involves a defective chemical that resulted in a drop in the production wafers, which are used in the production of new chips.  (GizChina, CINNO)

Touch Display

With more LCD panel suppliers capable of producing in commercial volume OLED displays for smartphones, Taiwan-based driver IC firms and related backend houses are gearing up to grow their presence in the OLED panel segment in 2019, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press, My Drivers, iFeng)

Digitimes Research believes that Samsung Display is likely to adopt a two-pronged strategy to continue to develop its QD LCD technology. On the one hand, it is expected to come out with QD LCD panels catering to the USD1,000-1,500 LCD TV segment, which currently accounts for 90% global TV shipments. On the other hand, it will try to integrate its QD and OLED technologies to create a niche market for QD-OLED TVs. (Digitimes, press, OfWeek)

Camera

According to OPPO’s patents published by WIPO, OPPO may be planning to integrate various app icons next to the camera hole. The design patents entitled ‘Mobile phone with app icon interface’ show a full screen OPPO smartphone with a punch-hole camera. The selfie camera is placed in the top left of the display. By making a swipe movement at the top of the display the icons will appear. Users can scroll through the icons, allowing for more app icons to appear. The camera icon will always stay in the same place. (GSM Arena, LetsGoDigital, Android Headlines, Huanqiu)

Samsung is reportedly in advanced negotiations to acquire Israeli company Corephotonics for USD150M-160M. Corephotonics has worked with OPPO to show off a periscope camera solution. The camera setup enables 5x lossless zoom with the aid of a prism. (CN Beta, The Globe, Android Authority)

Battery

Porsche’s entirely battery-powered Taycan is nearly launched, and they are starting to get serious about building infrastructure to support the car’s 800V charge rate capacity. Porsche has partnered with Electrify America — Volkswagen’s “We’re federally mandated to be sorry for Dieselgate” electric charging initiative — to expand its network dramatically. (CN Beta, CNET, Digital Trends)

Connectivity

LG Electronics and KAIST have opened a 6G research centre to ‘lead in next-generation mobile telecommunications’. The LG-Electronics-KAIST 6G Research Centre will be housed at Daejeon, which is home to the university’s KAIST Institute research complex. (GizChina, Leiphone, ZDNet, Unwire.HK, CN Beta)

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced a new direction finding feature that holds the potential to significantly enhance the performance of Bluetooth location services solutions.  The Bluetooth 5.1 spec is only available to developers. Bluetooth SIG says this system improves down to “centimeter-level location accuracy”. (My Drivers, Engadget CN, Business Wire, Bluetooth, Techspot)

Phone

According to Canalys, in 2018, smartphone shipments in China fell to their lowest level since 2013, at 396M units. The natural slowdown as consumers keep their smartphones for longer is one factor, but it has been implied considerably by the economic slowdown in China and consumers’ weakened purchasing power. As shipments tumble, the market is rapidly consolidating. The top ve smartphone vendors’ market share has increased from 73% in 2017 to 88% in 2018. (CN Beta, Gizmo China, Canalys, press)

According to Counterpoint, the global, premium smartphone segment grew faster (+18%) than the overall smartphone segment (-2%) in 2018. Growth was driven by flagship launches of Global players like Apple, Samsung and Google. Chinese players like Huawei, OPPO and vivo also followed this trend. Apple led the global premium smartphone segment capturing 51% share of the segment, followed by Samsung (22%) and Huawei (10%). (CN Beta, GSM Arena, Counterpoint Research, press)

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) has found that iOS loyalty was at 91%, while Android was slightly higher at 92%. Android has historically been higher – likely due to the wide choice of handsets available – but the trend seen across 2018 suggests that iOS loyalty may well overtake that of Android at some point in 2019. (CN Beta, Ubergizmo, iClarified)

Samsung has announced that the company will start taking steps in 2019 to replace plastic packaging materials with paper and other environmentally sustainable elements. From 1H19, the packaging used currently for Samsung’s products and accessories will be substituted with environmentally sustainable materials like recycled / bio-based plastics and paper. By 2030, Samsung aims to use 500 thousand tons of recycled plastics and collect 7.5 million tons of discarded products (both cumulative from 2009). (Android Headlines, GSM Arena, Samsung)

LG is reportedly shutting down its mobile business in Philippines, according to an LG executive. (GSM Arena, Revu, IT Home, CN Beta)

Roberta Cozza, director of research at Gartner, reveals it unlikely sees that 5G will be widely used in mobile devices until 2020. He expects to sell 65M 5G mobile phones by 2020. (My Drivers, Sina, JQKNews)

TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimates Apple iPhone shipment in 2019 would be below 190M units. For the year as a whole Kuo is sticking to an estimate of 188M~192M units, significantly above the consensus view of 180M. The analyst expects this fall’s iPhone models to keep 2H19 units flat against 2018, thanks to trade-in programs, healthy replacement demand, and growing European market share. (TF Securities, Apple Insider)

Pegatron accounts for about 30% of Apple’s assembly orders. The company thus far has relied almost entirely on China, but it now intends to change that with its expansion to Indonesia, Vietnam, and India. Regarding the expansion beyond China, Pegatron president SJ Liao said the company will announce more details soon. The rate of expansion, however, will depend on the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, he added. (CN Beta, Sina, 9to5Mac, Financial Times, Live Mint)

According to Apple, in 2018, Apple spent USD60B with 9,000 American component suppliers and companies, an increase of more than 10% from the year before, supporting more than 450,000 jobs. In addition to Finisar, Apple names a few partners in its announcement — Corning, Cincinnati Test Systems and Broadcom. (Apple, TechCrunch, Reuters CN, Wallstreet CN)

Samsung Galaxy M10 and M20 are launched in India featuring Infinity-V displays: M10 – 6.22” 720×1520 HD+ PLS TFT, Samsung Exynos 7870 Octa, rear dual 13MP-5MP + front 5MP, 2+16GB / 3+32GB, Android 8.1, face unlock, no fingerprint scanner, 3430mAh, INR8,000 (EUR100) / INR9,000 (EUR110).  M20 – 6.3” 1080×2340 FHD+ PLS TFT, Samsung Exynos 7904 Octa, rear 13MP-5MP + front 8MP, 3+32GB / 4+64GB, Android 8.1, face unlock, rear fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh, INR11,000 (EUR135) / INR13,000 (EUR160). (Android Authority, Android Headlines, Samsung)

OPPO Realme C1 (2019) is announced in India – 6.2” 1520×720 HD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 5MP, 2 / 3 + 32GB, Android 8.1, no fingerprint scanner, 4230mAh, INR7499 (USD106) / INR8,499 (USD120). (Android Authority, Gizmo China)

Redmi Go is to be launched in Asia and Europe – 5” 1280×720 HD, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, rear 8MP + front 5MP, 1+8GB, Android 8.1 (Go Edition), no fingerprint scanner, 3000mAh, EUR80. (Gizmo China, Winfuture, CN Beta)

Wearables

Apple reportedly plans to release a pair of high-end over-ear headphones as soon as 2H19, to compete with the likes of Bose and Sennheiser. (Digital Trends, Business Insider, Sina, Qianjia)

Virtual / Augmented Reality

Apple reportedly has met with AR waveguide suppliers including DigiLens, Lumus, Vuzix and WaveOptics, among others. Waveguides are commonly used in AR glasses as a means of routing graphical information from an output source to one or more display planes positioned in front of a user’s eyes. (Phone Arena, Apple Insider, Tom’s Hardware, CN Beta)

VR applications are spearheading into the fields such as sports tournaments and concerts, despite a recent setback in IMAX’s announcement that it plans to close all of its IMAX VR centers in 2019. In addition to moving into the public entertainment sector, VR applications are being used in a number of niche markets.  (Digitimes, press)

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