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02-12: OPPO has announced its partnership with ITE&C in India; vivo officially announces ‘iQOO’ as its sub-brand; etc.

Chipsets

According to IC Insights, IC production in China represented 15.3% of its USD155B IC market in 2018, up from 12.6% five years earlier in 2013.  Moreover, IC Insights forecasts that this share will increase by 5.2% from 2018 to 20.5% in 2023. Currently, China-based IC production is forecast to exhibit a very strong 2018-2023 CAGR of 15%. However, considering that China-based IC production was only USD23.8B in 2018, this growth is starting from a relatively small base. (IC Insights, press, Digitimes, Zhitong)

TSMC will be the exclusive supplier of Apple A13 that will power the 2019 series of iPhones. The foundry is scheduled to enter volume production of the chips built using 7nm process technology including an enhanced version with EUV in 2Q19. (Digitimes, press, Apple Almond)

Alphabet’s Google has hired more than a dozen microchip engineers in Bengaluru, India, in recent months and plans to rapidly add more, according to LinkedIn profiles, job postings and two industry executives, as the search firm expands its program to design the guts of its devices internally. (CN Beta, Reuters, Bangalore India, India Times)

Touch Display

BOE has disclosed that in 1998, the company applied for 9,585 patents, of which more than 90% of invention patents were used. In 2018, BOE’s display shipments increased by 24% year-on-year, ranking first in the world. It shipped the largest number of LCD TV panels (54.3M) in the world, followed by LG Display (LGD) with 48.6M. (GizChina, My Drivers, OfWeek, iFeng)

Camera

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun indicates that he is looking forward to the camera department putting a few big moves in 2019. He has added that Xiaomi’s mobile phone camera level should be amazing in 2019 because the company invested a lot in the camera development. (My Drivers, GizChina)

Biometrics

Jumio, the leading AI-powered trusted identity as a service provider, announces the launch of Jumio Authentication. This new video-selfie authentication solution is the first in the market to leverage biometrics for initial identity proofing and ongoing user authentication — creating an online experience that is fast, secure, accurate and easy to use. (VentureBeat, Globe Newswire)

Phone

OPPO has announced its partnership with information technology, electronics & communications department (ITE&C), government of Telangana, to create opportunities for entrepreneurs and startups in India. (CN Beta, Financial Express)

According to IDC, in 4Q18 China’s smartphone market shipments are about 103M units, a year-on-year decline of 9.7%. Among them, Huawei’s smartphone shipments ranked first, with the market share reaching up to 29% in 4Q18; OPPO and vivo ranked second and third, with the market share of 19.6% and 18.8%, respectively. (GizChina, CN Beta, IDC, press)

vivo officially announces ‘iQOO’ as its sub-brand, likely to launch new smartphones soon. Initial impressions are that iQOO will be positioned as a premium brand with prices of handsets to go above the CNY5,000 mark (INR50,000).  (GSM Arena, Weibo, MySmartPrice, My Drivers, CN Beta)

Xiaomi has officially announced that as of 12 Feb 2019, the newly launched Redmi Note 7 has shipped more than 1M units in Mainland China since it is launched on 15 Jan 2019. It is worth noting that the positioning of Redmi aims at the e-commerce market, only for online channel sales. (CN Beta, Sina, Gizmo China)

Wearables

Fitbit quietly unveiled its first business-to-business wearable called Inspire. It is only available to employees and health insurance members who are Fitbit customers. One recent area of focus for Fitbit is selling to seniors through private Medicare plans. (CN Beta, CNBC, NDTV)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Standards group W3C moved VR and AR on the Web forward with the publication of a draft specification. The WebXR Device API “describes support for accessing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices, including sensors and head-mounted displays, on the Web”. (CN Beta, SlashGear, Upload VR)

The patent, filed by Huawei, is published in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) . Titled ‘Eyeglass Frame’, the patent describes a lightweight, discrete and relatively inexpensive AR headset. (CN Beta, LetsGoDigital, USPTO, Gizmo China)

Google has Maps and Street View, but the company is finally rolling out a real-life mixture of both. Navigation with Augmented Reality is reportedly being pushed to Local Guides, a group of people that are community reviewers inside the Maps platform. Google says the feature needs “more testing” before launching it to more users. (GSM Arena, WSJ, Sina, CN Beta)

Home

Amazon has acquired Eero, a start-up that developed home internet routers that can be connected with one another inside homes. Google has a competing product called Google Wifi. (Apple Insider, The Verge, CNBC, Business Insider, Amazon, Pingwest)

Automotive

Nuro, a startup targeting the multibillion-dollar autonomous delivery robot market, has attracted sizeable venture capital from Softbank. Softbank has invested USD940M in Nuro through its Vision Fund, at a valuation of around USD2.7B. Deliveries are facilitated largely through Nuro’s smartphone app, which allows customers to track their order. After a Nuro car arrives, customers verify their identity with a password or form of biometric authentication and retrieve their goods. (VentureBeat, WSJ, Reuters, Sohu, AWTMT)

Artificial Intelligence

Baidu has made a smart cat shelter in Beijing that uses AI to verify when a cat is approaching and open its door. The cat shelter is heated and also offers cats food and water. While scanning a cat’s face at the door, the cameras are also apparently capable of checking the cat for diseases and also to see if the cat has been neutered by trying to spot an ear tag. The AI system is apparently capable of recognizing 174 different kinds of cats. (The Verge, Baidu, Sohu)

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