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02-08 Happy CNY: Qualcomm is launching the Snapdragon 712 platform; Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun reveals that In 2019, Xiaomi launches a multi-brand strategy; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm is launching the Snapdragon 712 platform, which similar to 710, it is a 10nm-based chip with 64-bit architecture and 8× Qualcomm Kryo 360 CPU cores.  (Android Authority, The Verge, Qualcomm, XDA-Developers, IT Home, My Drivers)

Touch Display

Sony trademarks the name “CinemaWide” and is classified as ‘Class 9’ which is a general class that covers tablets, smartphones, displays, apps for phones, among other things. It is believed the trademark is for Xperia XZ4 that features 6.5” 3360×1440 21:9 display. (CN Beta, GSM Arena, LetsGoDigital)

The Essential Phone sequel might feature a full edge-to-edge screen without requiring a notch. It could include one camera and one sensor hidden behind a display that would become partially transparent at the user’s request. Essential is reportedly looking at using this feature with either an LCD or OLED panel. It also shows a device with a fingerprint sensor under a display. (SlashGear, Phone Arena, Sina, CN Beta)

Camera

Samsung’s patent focuses on the S Pen doubling as a camera that could provide users with a vastly superior optical zooming system in contrast with a digital zoom system now found on all Galaxy smartphones. (The Verge, Patently Mobile, USPTO, Sina, My Drivers)

Battery

Tesla has acquired energy storage company Maxwell Technologies in an all-stock deal valued at USD218M, a deal aimed at helping the electric automaker improve its batteries and lower costs as more competitors enter the market. (TechCrunch, Electrek, Quartz, Wallstreet CN, Sina)

Connectivity

Zain KSA has started a massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) pilot in the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on the TD-LTE network using 2.6GHz spectrum. Nokia, the technology partner of Zain KSA, said the pilot uses Nokia’s 5G-ready AirScale massive MIMO antenna for 4.9G calls to improve network capacity to provide speeds of above 700Mbps per user。(Android Headlines, Telecom Lead, Telecom Paper)

Biometrics

Apple’s patent titled “Acoustic pulse coding for imaging of input devices” describes how sound could be applied to a surface in order to detect how another object comes into contact with it. In short, this could enable a fingerprint to be read when it is pressed onto a display. (Pocket-Lint, Apple Insider, USPTO, Sohu)

Phone

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun reveals that In 2019, Xiaomi launches a multi-brand strategy. In addition to its 2 main brands, Xiaomi and Redmi, there are also 3 sub-brands focusing on specific fields such as POCO, Mito and Black Shark. These brands are set up for the foreign, female and gaming markets respectively. Lei Jun said that Xiaomi will come up with more outstanding products from all its brands in 2019. (My Drivers, GizChina)

Apple may hit a USD1T market capitalization yet again in a very near future, according to Morgan Stanley, as it preps the ultimate “media bundle” with a 2019 video streaming service, Apple Music, and the purchase of the magazine subscription aggregator Texture in 2018. In addition, there are rumours about a game subscription service swirling around. (CNBC, Phone Arena, Finet)

Google officially unveils a new form of encryption, designed to secure data stored on lower-end smartphones and other devices with insufficient processing power. Adiantum is built to run on phones and other smart devices that “don’t have the specialized hardware to use current methods to encrypt locally stored data efficiently”. (CN Beta, Android Headlines, Adiantum, VentureBeat, Google)

Coolpad Cool 3 is launched in India – 5.71” 720×1500 HD+, Unisoc octa-core, rear dual 8MP-0.3MP + front 5MP, 2+16GB, Android 9.0, 3000mAh, face unlock, rear fingerprint scanner, INR5,999. (GizChina, India Today, NDTV)

Moto G7 series is announced: G7 Plus – 6.2” 1080×2270 FHD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, rear dual 16MP-5MP + front 12MP, 4+64GB, Android 9.0, 3000mAh, 27W fast charging, rear fingerprint scanner, EUR300. G7 – 6.2” 1080×2270 FHD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 632, rear dual 12MP-5MP + front 8MP, 4+64GB, Android 9.0, 3000mAh, rear fingerprint scanner, EUR250. G7 Power – 6.2” 720×1520 HD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 632, rear 12MP + front 8MP, 3+32GB, Android 9.0, 5000mAh, rear fingerprint scanner, EUR210. G7 Play – 5.7” 1512×720 HD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 632, rear 13MP + front 8MP, 2+32GB, Android 9.0, 3000mAh, rear fingerprint scanner, EUR150. (Android Authority, GSM Arena)

Wearables

Apple’s patent depicts a headband that uses audio output and haptic feedback to communicate with users. That could bring about headsets that vibrate when users cycle through audio or visual options. It could even be implemented in the upcoming “AirPods 2”, which are expected to arrive as a set of over-ear headphones.  (CN Beta, My Drivers, Sina, Inverse)

Home

According to the latest research study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), Apple HomePod holds a 6% share of the 66M install base of smart speakers in the United States in 4Q18, or about 4M units. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, 9to5Mac)

Parks Associates finds smart speakers inspire strong brand loyalty among owners—97% of smart speaker households own only one brand in this device category. It reveals 2/3 of smart speaker households own Amazon Echo, while almost 1/3 own a Google Home. Low-end models such as the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini are the most common products owned, but the trend of brand loyalty in this early market creates opportunities for device makers to upsell premium products. (Android Authority, 9to5Google, PR Newswire)

Automotive

Ike, a self-driving truck startup founded by former Apple, Google, and Uber Advanced Technologies Group engineers, has announced that it has raised USD52M in a series A financing round led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from Redpoint Ventures, Fontinalis Partners, Basis Set Ventures, and Neo. (VentureBeat)

Amazon has participated in a USD530M investment round for Aurora Innovation, a self-driving car startup created by luminaries like ex-Googler Chris Urmson, former Tesla Autopilot leader Sterling Anderson and Uber autonomy co-founder Drew Bagnell. (Engadget, WSJ, The Verge, Sina)

Artificial Intelligence

Analytics platform provider Databricks has raised USD250M in a series E funding round and now sits atop a USD2.75B valuation. The funding was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), and featured participation from Coatue Management, Microsoft, and New Enterprise Associates (NEA). (CN Beta, CNBC, GeekWire)

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