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03-27: Huawei has reportedly deepened its deployments in related multimedia chips; Huawei has announced the construction of a chip factory in Cambridge, UK; etc.

Chipsets

Huawei has reportedly deepened its deployments in related multimedia chips and will target TV terminal products as the second main application market after smartphones for the buildup of its smart consumer ecosystem. Huawei has stopped short of declaring its entry into the TV market, and instead said it will roll out smart end-market display products that will form a smart ecosystem along with its 5G, AI and IoT technologies. (CN Beta, Digitimes, press, Pocket Now)

Huawei has announced the construction of a chip factory in Cambridge, UK, which has an area of ​​500 acres. Huawei has reportedly paid GBP37.5M for the 550-acre former Spicers site at Sawston in Cambridge, UK. The new chip factory will be mainly used in the design and manufacture of optical communication modules. The company has acquired the land from US biotechnology company NWBio for a lease period of 20 years. (CN Beta, Sohu, XDA-Developers)

The next generation of Chrome OS tablets are reportedly powered by MediaTek for mid-range segment of the market. The two such devices listed under the codename ‘Flapjack’, under the reference board ‘Kukui’. Both the 8” and 10” SKUs appear to be centered around a Himax-built 1200×1920 display with a display ratio of 16:10. (Android Headlines, 9to5Google, Chrome Unboxed, Android Police)

Touch Display

Sharp’s patent filed with WIPO in 2017 shows a horizontally folding phone with a clamshell design. the phone has two hinges that are presumably spaced less than an inch apart. This would give the phone greater flexibility and allow it to fold at two points. So, in addition to folding the phone completely, users would also be able to bend it partially, leaving the lower part of the display visible. (CN Beta, LetsGoDigital, Android Headlines)

While foldable smartphones are the next big thing for handset brands, initial shipments of these foldable devices would be limited because some key components such as OLED displays and hinges are scarce and pricy, according to Digitimes. Due to the tough quality requirement, volume production of hinge products suitable for foldable smartphones may not be realized until 2020. Taiwan-based hinge makers, including Shin Zu Shing (SZS) and Jarllytec, have geared up their efforts in order to tap into the foldable smartphone sectors. (Phone Arena, Digitimes, press, Yahoo, Digitimes)

LG’s design patent shows a device with a single foldable screen. It could have a screen on the outside, but it could have smaller bezels than the one on the Galaxy Fold. A 3.5mm headphone socket is not visible in the images, so the brand will probably skip it on its foldable offering. The volume rocker is placed on the right side, while the power button is placed on top. (CN Beta, 91Mobiles)

Sensory

Israeli lidar startup Innoviz Technologies has raised USD132M in series C financing led by China Merchants Capital. This fundraising enables many of the substantial commitments it takes to bring this technology to market at a massive scale. The company’s sensor allows remote 3D scanning and provides a high-definition image of a vehicle’s surroundings. (VentureBeat, Investing, Globes, Leiphone, Auto Home)

Ouster has raised USD60M as the San Francisco-based lidar startup opens a new facility that will have the capacity to assemble and ship several thousand sensors a month by the end of 2019. The new factory currently produces hundreds of sensors per month. Ouster says at full capacity, the factory will produce USD25M~50M in inventory per month. (TechCrunch, VentureBeat, BizJournals, OfWeek)

Battery

Xiaomi has announced the development of a Super Charge Turbo technology with a power of 100W. As the company claims, a 4000mAh battery is fully charged in 17 minutes. (GizChina, CN Beta)

Phone

Apple has unveiled a star-studded lineup for its newly unveiled Apple TV Plus service. Apple TV Plus is not a separate, standalone app. Apple TV Plus is a video subscription service that will feature Apple’s growing list of original TV shows and movies.  (Apple Insider, CN Beta, The Verge, CNET, CN Beta)

Apple is moving deeper into online gaming. Apple has announced that it will offer a gaming subscription service through its App Store called Apple Arcade. With a single subscription get access to over 100 new and exclusive games. (CNET, CN Beta)

Apple has announced Apple News+, a new subscription service that brings together over 300 popular magazines, leading newspapers and digital publishers into a beautiful, convenient and curated experience within the Apple News app. (The Verge, Apple, CNET, CN Beta)

Samsung aims to maintain its leadership in the smartphone market where it held a nearly 20% share compared to about a 14% held each by Apple and Huawei in 2018. The shipments of the Galaxy S10 family are expected to grow 10%-15% as compared to its predecessor Galaxy S9 lineup, to reach 60M units in 2019. And profits generated from the S10 lineup could also be higher. (Phone Arena, Digitimes, press)

Huawei Enjoy 9e and 9s are announced: 9e – 6.09” 720×1520 HD+ IPS, MediaTek MT6761 Helio A22, rear 13MP + front 8MP, 3+32GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 3020mA, CNY999. 9s – 6.21” 1080×2340 FHD+ IPS, HiSilicon Kirin 710, rear tri 24MP-16MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front 8MP, 4+64/128GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 3400mAh 10W, from CNY1,499. (Gizmo China, GSM Arena, Weibo)

Samsung Galaxy A70 is launched – 6.73” 1080×2340 20:9 FHD+ Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, rear tri 32MP-8M ultra-wide-5MP depth + front 32MP, 6/8+128GB, Android 9.0, under display fingerprint, 4500mAh 25W fast charging. (GSM Arena, Fonearena, Phone Arena, Samsung)

Huawei P30 series is announced in France, powered by HiSilicon Kirin 980, Android 9.0, equipped with under-display fingerprint scanner: P30 – 6.1” 2340×1080 FHD+ flat OLED, rear tri 40MP SuperSpectrum Wide-16MP ultrawide-8MP OIS 3x optical zoom+ front 32MP, 6+128GB, IP53, 3650mAh 25W fast charging, EUR799. P3o Pro – 6.47” 2340×1080 FHD+ dual curved OLED, rear tri 40MP SuperSepctrum Wide-20MP ultrawide-8MP OIS 5x optical zoom-ToF + front 32MP, 8+128/256/512GB, IP68, 4200mAh 40W fast charging 15W wireless charging, from EUR999. (CN Beta, Android Central, Android Authority, First Post, GSM Arena, GSM Arena)

Wearables

Huawei also announced a new size for the Watch GT, the Elegant which is going to be a smaller 42mm watch. It features 1.2” 390×390 AMOLED, running Lite OS, lasting a full week with heart rate monitoring on, and the Active doubling that to 2 weeks. It is priced at EUR229. (Android Headlines, 9to5Google, TechRadar, CN Beta)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has acquired Israel augmented reality company InfinityAR. In 2016, InfinityAR raised USD18M for 22% of the startup, reflecting a company valuation of USD80M, after money. Alibaba invested USD15M along with Japanese company Sun, which invested USD3M. (CN Beta, Globes)

Sony has officially sold-through more than 4.2M Playstation VR systems worldwide as of 3 Mar 2019. (VentureBeat, Playstation, Yivian)

Huawei partners with Korean sunglasses and optical glasses brand Gentle Monster to launch a pair of smart glasses EyeWear, which feature speakers and 2 microphones that allow to accept calls from your phone, interact with a virtual assistant, and listen to music. It has IP67 dust/water resistance, a 2,200mAh battery. (Android Central, TechCrunch, Mashable, CN Beta)

HTC has announced that its Vive division will use Qualcomm’s technologies for XR standalone and 5G smartphone in its Vive Wave mobile virtual reality platform. Using both the HTC and Qualcomm technologies, headset makers will be able to deploy inexpensive headsets for augmented reality or virtual reality. (GizChina, VentureBeat, IT Home, OfWeek)

HTC has announced its VIVE Focus Plus, a VR headset made for enterprise applications, retail for USD799. It utilizes 2880×1600 3K AMOLED display, 110º field of view, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, USB Type-C, Quick Charge 3.0, built-in speakers, microphone, and a 3.5mm jack. (Neowin, Twitter, HTC, VentureBeat, My Drivers)

Home

Apple is renaming the base-level 4th-generation 1080p Apple TV to the “Apple TV HD”. A single 32GB model is available for USD149, coming equipped with a Siri Remote, an A8 processor and support for standards like HDMI 1.4 and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 sound. (CN Beta, Engadget CN, Apple Insider, 9to5Google)

Automotive

SoftBank and Amazon are among multiple investors that have thrown their hats in the ring to potentially lead a USD100M equity financing round in mobility platform Drivezy. Drivezy has emerged as the largest two-wheeler self-drive platform in India. It also include an estimated USD400M in asset financing, as it expands its fleet across the country and prepares to enter overseas markets as well. (CN Beta, Economic Times)

Artificial Intelligence

McDonald’s acquires Dynamic Yield, a leader in personalization and decision logic technology. McDonald’s will utilize this decision technology to provide an even more personalized customer experience by varying outdoor digital Drive Thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items. (Engadget, Wired, PR Newswire, WSJ, FT Chinese, Tencent)

Payment

Apple has announced Apple Card, which is built into the Apple Wallet app on iPhone. Goldman Sachs is the issuing bank and Apple is also partnering with Mastercard to support Apple Card’s global payment network. (CN Beta, Digital Trends, Apple)

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